ATLA 25.6, November 1997

//ATLA 25.6, November 1997

Reducing Animal Testing: Tests Matter More Than What is Tested

Michael Balls

These are difficult days for Britain’s New Labour Government, elected last May with a huge majority. The Government ship has been forced to sail out of sheltered coastal waters into the open sea, where it faces unexpected currents and uncharted reefs. Its navigational skills are now in doubt — a pledge to do something about cruel forms of hunting appears to have been replaced by a desire that the hounding to death of deer and foxes will continue to be tolerated, at least for the lifetime of this Parliament, and a proposed ban on tobacco advertising in sport will be applied to snooker, but not to Formula One motor racing, for reasons which are, to say the least, unclear and unconvincing.
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2017-01-09T06:26:24+00:00 Tags: |

News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

Environmental Enrichment for Mice
The HSUS Honours Horst Spielmann
Course on Humane Laboratory Animal Science
US Monkey Experiments Condemned
WARDS Announces Prize Winners
Shining the Spotlight on Lighting for Lab Monkeys
A Virtual Heart for the Real World
Amendment to ATLA 25.3
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2017-01-09T06:26:24+00:00 Tags: |

Letter from CAAT

Lisa A. Libowitz

One of the greatest challenges in the field of alternatives is the dissemination of information about the development and validation of new methods to the widest possible audience in a timely manner. Until scientists are aware of a new method, they cannot try it. Until Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) and other regulatory bodies learn of a valid alternative, they will not incorporate it into their protocols.
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2017-01-09T06:26:27+00:00 Tags: |

Genetically Engineered Cell Lines: Characterisation and Applications in Toxicity Testing

Friedrich J. Wiebel, Tommy B. Andersson, Daniel A. Casciano, Maurice Dickins, Volker Fischer, Hansruedi Glatt, Jean Horbach, Robert J. Langenbach, Walter Luyten, Gino Turchi and Alain Vandewalle

This is the report of the twenty-sixth of a series of workshops organised by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM). ECVAM’s main goal, as defined in 1993 by its Scientific Advisory Committee, is to promote the scientific and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods which are of importance to the biosciences and which reduce, refine or replace the use of laboratory animals.
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2017-01-09T06:26:27+00:00 Tags: , , |

Reduction of the New Tetrazolium Dye, Alamar BlueTM, in Cultured Rat Hepatocytes and Liver Fractions

Mark J. Andrews, Michael J. Garle and Richard H. Clothier

Alamar BlueTM (AB) is a new tetrazolium dye substrate that has been introduced as an alternative cell viability indicator. AB is reduced by intracellular reductases to a product which is exported from cells and can be quantified by fluorescent or spectrophotometric methods. We investigated the processes by which AB was reduced in liver cytosolic, microsomal or mitochondrial fractions and in cultured rat hepatocytes. AB reduction was catalysed by all liver fractions in an NADPH-dependent and NADH-dependent manner; the cytosolic fraction catalysed the highest rate of AB reduction. All of these activities were inhibited by dicoumarol (10μM), except AB reduction catalysed by NADH in mitochondrial fractions, which was resistant to the effects of dicoumarol and the metabolic inhibitors, but sensitive to inhibition by mercury (II) chloride. In hepatocyte cultures, AB reduction was stimulated by dicoumarol (10μM), menadione (10μM), rotenone (10μM), lactate (1–10mM) and fluoride (3–10mM). Potassium cyanide, ethanol and malonate had little effect. The results from this study suggest that AB is reduced in an NADPH-quinone oxidoreductase-dependent fashion, but that superoxide may also be involved in the reduction of AB. The modulation of AB reduction by lactate means that AB reduction may be modified by alterations in intermediary metabolism which are not a reflection of cell lethality. Therefore, great care should be exercised when using AB reduction as a viability indicator.
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The Bioavailability of Substances Administered to Chick Embryos: The Maximum Effective Route of Administration

Drahomír Veselý, Doubravka Veselá and Richard Jelínek

Toxicokinetic studies are of key importance in both the design and the interpretation of developmental toxicity studies. The aim of this study was to determine concentrations of test substances within the chick embryo following the administration schedule recommended in the chick embryotoxicity screening test (CHEST). The concentration–time relationships were investigated by using four labelled substances with various physicochemical and embryotoxic properties ([14C] sodium acetate, [14C] palmitic acid, [3H] cortisol and [3H] cytosine arabinoside). These labelled chemicals were mixed with cold substances and singly administered at two dose levels to chick embryos on days 2, 3 and 4 of incubation. Extrachorial and subgerminal routes were used on day 2, and extrachorial and intra-amniotic applications were chosen on days 3 and 4. The concentration of labelled chemical present within the embryo was assessed at predetermined intervals by scintillation fluorimetry (from 6 minutes to 96 hours after administration), and used for estimating the concentration curves. Regardless of the substance, dose and application route, the concentration curves exhibited a characteristic pattern, reaching their peaks within the first 6 hours, and dropping down to near zero 48–96 hours after administration. The decrease followed the first order law, demonstrating that, within the CHEST system, the avian embryo does not act as a closed system. With regard to the total amount of substance entering the embryo, extrachorial administration appeared to be superior to subgerminal administration on day 2. Intra-amniotic administration was superior to extrachorial administration on days 3 and 4. These differences were most pronounced after administration of lipid-soluble palmitic acid. The concentrations within embryonic tissues were directly dosedependent. After consideration of all these findings, we concluded that the CHEST system probably has closer similarity to the toxicokinetics of exposure of mammalian embryos (i.e. reaching a peak and then a gradual decline over time) than any other in vitro test of developmental toxicity, where the chemical is simply added to culture media. Several practical recommendations for improving the CHEST system were derived.
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Evaluation of a Commercial Kit for Glutathione Estimation in Cellular Systems

Mukadder Atmaca, Alison H. Hammond and Jeffrey R. Fry

The major aim of this study was to identify an appropriate assay to use routinely for cellular glutathione measurement. The Saville assay has been widely used in cytotoxicity studies, while the GSH-400 assay is a commercial kit which only recently became available. Therefore, in this study, the accuracy and sensitivity of the Saville and GSH-400 assays were compared. Results presented herein indicate that the Saville assay gave a lower blank absorbance and higher sensitivity when compared to the GSH-400 assay.
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Abstracts of the Main Articles Published in ALTEX Volume 14 1997

ATLA Staff Writer

In this paper on animal protection, the three central issues are: a) animals should not be regarded as things; b) the demand for special animal rights; and c) the conflict between animal interests and certain human rights. In some countries, it is already written into law that animals are not “things”.
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2017-01-09T06:26:27+00:00 Tags: |

Book Reviews

Susi Goll, Richard McGowan, Michael Garle and Michael Balls

The question of whether animals do or do not possess consciousness cannot be answered with any certainty, because decisive and irrefutable evidence on this matter is lacking. Such was the conclusion drawn by the philosopher and ethicist, Jan Vorstenbosch, from his studies on the new philosophy and on the results of neurological research. In fact, the existence of consciousness in animals has often been called into question by neuropsychology and neurophysiology.
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2017-01-09T06:26:28+00:00 Tags: |