Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology

A. Identification and characterization of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) and species differences
B. Opportunities and risks of nanomaterials - Biomedical applications.

The research projects

Indication A: In contrast to humans, only scarce information on cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) of horses involved in drug metabolism is available so far. The project comprises the identification and characterisation of CYPs as well as research in the field of pharmacogenetics. The knowledge gained is important for drug metabolism and will provide a basis for the investigation of drug interactions in horses and significantly improve our ability to prevent therapy failure and adverse effects. The expression levels of the identified CYPs will be studied in equine liver and primary hepatocytes incubated with and without the potential inducer rifampicin, using RNA sequencing, a new technology that also allows the identification of yet unknown mRNA transcripts. In silico analyses, i.e. three-dimensional homology models (3D) of CYP3A isoenzymes are generated to model the protein sites relevant for ligand binding.

Ad B: Our research focuses on the study of the biodistribution and biological effects of nanoparticles (NPs) released from biodegradable brain implants to assess potential health risks. Particular attention is paid to how laser-irradiated NPs interact with brain cells and tissue and how the size and shape of NPs influence cell interaction. We use state-of-the-art models, including neuronal cell lines, primary cells and organotypic brain slices, to study the uptake of nanoparticles and the underlying mechanisms and possible toxicity. Our study will provide insights into size-dependent and nanospecific characteristics of cellular uptake of NPs into neuronal cells and brain tissue after release from a biodegradable implant, an area that is poorly understood and poorly studied. The results will be made available to the authorities for decision making regarding NP regulations.