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No evidence for phase I metabolites of the cyanotoxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) was given using HepaRG cells and different liver tissue fractions when studying metabolic conversion. Although the application of ketoconazole, a CYP3A4 inhibitor, led to a decreased cytotoxicity of CYN, no metabolites were detected applying high resolution mass spectrometry. Quantification of non-modified CYN led to recovery rates of almost 100%. Consequently, reduction of CYN toxicity in the presence of metabolism inhibiting agents must be attributed to alternative pathways.Application of multiple in vitro methods for metabolism studies on CYN.No evidence for CYN phase I metabolites.Ketoconazole is protective against CYN toxicity in vitro.