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Quantitative High Content Imaging of Cellular Adaptive Stress Response Pathways in Toxicity for Chemical Safety Assessment

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posted on 17.03.2014, 00:00 by Steven Wink, Steven Hiemstra, Suzanna Huppelschoten, Erik Danen, Marije Niemeijer, Giel Hendriks, Harry Vrieling, Bram Herpers, Bob van de Water
Over the past decade, major leaps forward have been made on the mechanistic understanding and identification of adaptive stress response landscapes underlying toxic insult using transcriptomics approaches. However, for predictive purposes of adverse outcome several major limitations in these approaches exist. First, the limited number of samples that can be analyzed reduces the in depth analysis of concentration–time course relationships for toxic stress responses. Second these transcriptomics analysis have been based on the whole cell population, thereby inevitably preventing single cell analysis. Third, transcriptomics is based on the transcript level, totally ignoring (post)­translational regulation. We believe these limitations are circumvented with the application of high content analysis of relevant toxicant-induced adaptive stress signaling pathways using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter cell-based assays. The goal is to establish a platform that incorporates all adaptive stress pathways that are relevant for toxicity, with a focus on drug-induced liver injury. In addition, cellular stress responses typically follow cell perturbations at the subcellular organelle level. Therefore, we complement our reporter line panel with reporters for specific organelle morphometry and function. Here, we review the approaches of high content imaging of cellular adaptive stress responses to chemicals and the application in the mechanistic understanding and prediction of chemical toxicity at a systems toxicology level.