Drug-induced Steatosis | InSphero

Mechanistic Assays - Drug-induced Steatosis

Drug-induced Steatosis

Evaluate effects of drug-induced lipid accumulation

Drugs can interfere with hepatic lipid processing, causing intracellular accumulation of lipids in hepatocytes, a process called steatosis. Drug-induced steatosis is often reversible, however prolonged exposure to certain drugs can evolve into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis1. 3D InSight™ Human Liver Microtissues are inducible for steatosis, making it possible to evaluate the risk of liver damage associated with steatogenic drugs.

  • Leverage a long-lived, mechanistically relevant model inducible for steatosis, and suitable for chronic drug exposure studies
  • Collect multiple steatosis-related endpoints in a single, flexible 3D microtissue model suitable for assessment of intracellular lipid content, reactive oxygen species production, mitochondrial impairment, and cell death
  • Increase throughput and cost-effectiveness in steatosis drug screening with a pre-qualified, assay-ready model for steatosis


  1. Reasor MJ et al. (2006) Expert Opin Drug Saf 5(4); 567-583

Example Data

Tetracycline induces strong accumulation of intracellular lipids in hepatocytes. Primary human hepatocytes were used to assess the susceptibility of the 3D InSight™ microtissues to tetracycline-induced steatosis in presence of oleic acid. Confocal microscopy images were taken, with lipids stained green with Nile Red, and nuclei stained blue with DAPI. Tetracycline-treatment in addition to the oleic acid induced higher accumulation of the lipids in hepatocytes as compared to oleic acid alone.

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