Primary hepatocytes and their cultures for the testing of drug-induced liver injury

Vânia Vilas-Boas, Axelle Cooreman, Eva Gijbels, Raf Van Campenhout, Emma Gustafson, Steven Ballet, Pieter Annaert, Bruno Cogliati, Mathieu Vinken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Drug-induced liver injury is a major reason for discontinuation of drug development and withdrawal of drugs from the market. Intensive efforts in the last decades have focused on the establishment and finetuning of liver-based in vitro models for reliable prediction of hepatotoxicity triggered by drug candidates. Of those, primary hepatocytes and their cultures still are considered the gold standard, as they provide an acceptable reflection of the hepatic in vivo situation. Nevertheless, these in vitro systems cope with gradual deterioration of the differentiated morphological and functional phenotype. The present paper gives an overview of traditional and more recently introduced strategies to counteract this dedifferentiation process in an attempt to set up culture models that can be used for long-term testing purposes. The relevance and applicability of such optimized cultures of primary hepatocytes for the testing of drug-induced cholestatic liver injury is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalAdvances in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2019


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