Key question concerning organ specific chemical

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key question concerning organ-specific chemical toxicity is whether the actual target has the capacity to activate (or efficiently inactivate) chemicals. Results of several studies indicate that the different xenobiotic-metabolising CYPs, present in the human lung and lung-derived cell lines, likely contribute to in situ activation of pulmonary toxins, among them, pro-carcinogens. Some CYPs, in particular CYP1A, are polymorphic and inducible. Interindividual differences in the expression of these CYPs may explain the different risk of developing lung toxicity (possibly cancer), by agents that require metabolic activation. Few cell lines, principally A549, have been used with variable success as an experimental model for investigating the mechanisms of toxicity. Although RT-PCR analysis has evidenced the presence of the major human pulmonary CYP mRNAs, the measurable P450 specific activities are, however, far below those present in human lungs. Detection of the toxicity elicited by reactive metabolites requires the use of metabolically competent cells; consequently, better
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