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Immunotoxicological Investigation Using Pharmaceutical Drugs:In VivoEvaluation of Immune Effects

Fundamental and Applied Toxicology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1006/faat.1994.1094
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Abstract Immunotoxicological Investigation Using Pharmaceutical Drugs: In Vivo Evaluation of Immune Effects. Lebrec, H., Blot, C., Pequet, S., Roger, R., Bohuon, C., and Pallardy, M. (1994). Fundam. Appl. Toxicol. 23, 159-168. Traditional methods for toxicological assessment have indicated that the immune system is a frequent target of toxic insult following subchronic or chronic exposure to xenobiotics. However, most of the xenobiotics evaluated in standardized protocols were environmental chemicals and correlation with available clinical data was not possible. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the potential immunosuppressive effects of pharmaceutical drugs using a standardized protocol developed for immunotoxicological assessment. Two groups of pharmaceutical drugs were utilized: (a) drugs without known immunosuppressive effect linked to their utilization in human therapy (cimetidine, furosemide, indomethacin, amoxicillin, and procainamide) and (b) immunosuppressive drugs (azathioprine, cyclosporine A, and dexamethasone). Ex vivo tests using B6C3F1 mice were performed after a 28-day repeat dose regimen and assessed: (a) immunopathology, (b) cell-mediated immunity, (c) humoral immunity, and (d) nonspecific immunity. Host resistance to Listeria monocytogenes was also assessed following exposure to immunosuppressive drugs. The results showed that (a) immunopathology and immune function assays were necessary to detect all immunotoxicants and (b) the effects observed with nonimmunotoxic drugs were sometimes statistically significant but the biological significance of these effects is unlikely.

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