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Keywords:

  • toxicogenomics;
  • transcript profiling;
  • proteomics;
  • metabonomics;
  • toxicology

Abstract

Toxicogenomics, resulting from the merge of conventional toxicology with functional genomics, being the scientific field studying the complex interactions between the cellular genome, toxic agents in the environment, organ dysfunction and disease state. When an organism is exposed to a toxic agent the cells respond by altering the pattern of gene expression. Genes are transcribed into mRNA, which in turn is translated into proteins that serve in a variety of cellular functions. Toxicogenomics through microarray technology, offers large-scale detection and quantification of mRNA transcripts, related to alterations in mRNA stability or gene regulation. This may prove advantageous in toxicological research. In the present review, the applications of toxicogenomics, especially to mechanistic and predictive toxicology are reported. The limitations arising from the use of this technology are also discussed. Additionally, a brief report of other approaches, using other -omic technologies (proteomics and metabonomics) that overcome limitations and give global information related to toxicity, is included. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.