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Published: 2020-06-03 11:31 | Updated: 2020-06-03 11:32

Human liver spheroids have been developed exerting an in vivo like phenotype

Within the groups of Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg and Volker Lauschke human liver spheroids have been developed exerting an in vivo like phenotype. E.g. for mimicking chronic drug hepatotoxicity, insulin resistance, steatosis and mechanisms for drug mediated enzyme induction causing e.g. autoinduction of drug metabolism and clinical failure.

Recently two new applications have been presented:

  1. It was shown that the liver spheroids could mimic mechanisms of liver fibrosis and be utilized for test for efficacy and mechanisms of potential new anti NASH compounds (Hurrell et al., Cells. 2020 Apr 14;9(4):964).
  2. The spheroids could be used in the development of new drugs against Covid-19 where e.g. the infections of the spheroids with Sars-CoV-2 reveals the capacity of baricitinib to reduce viral load likely by inhibitory effects on AAK1 and GAK-mediated viral propagation (Stebbing et al., EMBO Mol Med. 2020 May 30. doi: 10.15252/emmm.202012697).  This drug has shown promising effects in smaller clinical trials and the spheroids are used in the further developmental work.