New Methods in Immunotoxicology
Compared to in vivo assays, in vitro assays have several advantages and limitations. Major advantages are the possibilities to use a wider range of concentrations, to duplicate/triplicate the same assay, to test more easily chemicals which pose certain problems of safety (e.g. carcinogenic or genotoxic chemicals), and also to include highly sophisticated endpoints. On the other hand, major limitations of in vitro assays are the lack of biotransformation in test tubes or cultured cells, the possible non-specific cytopathic/toxic effects of tested chemicals resulting in misleading findings, and the lack of external influences (such as neuro-endocrine interactions) on the biological response.