Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing

March 10, 2018


SOT | Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology

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Abstracts for Poster and Invited Speaker Presentations

Building a Better Epithelium Program

Registrant List
Building a Better Epithelium Attendee List



Epithelial cells lining the airway, skin, and digestive tract are the interface between the body and the environment and serve both as physical barrier and key player in the toxicological response to chemical and environmental exposures. The three epithelial barriers are target organs of toxicity, modulate the absorption of chemicals from the environment, mediate local and systemic immunological responses, and participate to xenobiotic biotransformation. The epithelium functions in the context of a microenvironment, which is regulated by interactions between epithelial cells, stromal cells, and the extracellular matrix; however, most in vitro and high-throughput models of the epithelium utilize monocultures grown under standard “cells on plastic” conditions. As a result, these traditional in vitro epithelial models may not accurately recapitulate the topological organization, morphological hallmarks, and cell-cell communication that would normally be present in vivo. These limitations can be overcome through the development and application of three-dimensional, multi-cell type organotypic in vitro models, which more accurately represent the in vivo epithelial microenvironment, in pharmacology and toxicology studies. The development of organotypic epithelial models has advanced considerably in recent years and the application of these models has the potential to transform the use of in vitro models in the field of toxicology.

About the Meeting

This meeting will provide opportunities for toxicologists that are interested in, or currently using, organotypic models and technology developers to meet face-to-face to foster collaborations that will move the field forward. In addition to presenting the state of the science, this conference will include moderated discussion sessions for attendees and speakers to discuss advances, future needs and data gaps, and applications of these models in the investigation into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity. The presentations will focus around developments in in vitro organotypic airway, skin, and intestinal epithelial models that may inform mechanistic understanding by toxicologists across academia, government, and industry. Further, presentations will discuss practical considerations when incorporating these tools into next generation in vitro research and safety evaluation.

Hosted by: The Society of Toxicology, In Vitro and Alternative Methods, Molecular and Systems Biology, Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Sections, and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.


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