ATLA 39.6, December 2011

//ATLA 39.6, December 2011


Michael Balls

Animal Experimentation and the Labelling of Drugs
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News & Views

ATLA Writer Staff

Theologian Honoured by University
of Winchester.
Swiss 3R Research Foundation Funds
Project to Develop a Novel In Vitro
Botulinum Potency Testing Method.
Multicellular Spheroids as an In Vitro
Tumour Model for the Assessment of
Cancer Therapies.
BUAV Wins Freedom of Information
Act Ruling.
Cell Culture Model of Age-related
Macular Degeneration.
Software for Counting Fruit Flies.
New Drugs to Tackle Lung Disease.
New Book Series.
Potential Test for Drug Treatments
for Parkinson’s Disease Using Worms.
Clan Genomics.
Virtual Brains.
Stem Cell Expansion Kit.
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ECVAM News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

Meetings of ESAC Working Groups.
35th Meeting of the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC).
Status of Validation Studies and Test Methods Submitted to ECVAM.
ECVAM is Setting-up a Network of Validation Laboratories (NETVAL).
EPAA Workshop ‘Stem cells and their derivatives in toxicological research and as a possible regulatory tool — a gap analysis’.
First Consultation Round on Test Submissions.
Joint EPAA/ECVAM Workshop‘Potential for further integration of toxicokinetic modelling into the prediction of in vivo dose–response curves without animal experiments’.
The International Collaboration for Alternative Testing Methods. ECVAM and the European Partnership for AlternativeApproaches to Animal Testing.
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CAAT News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

CAAT Receives $1.2 Million FDA Grant
CAAT-Europe Workshop on a
Roadmap for Systemic Toxicity
Upcoming Activities
Workshop on the Identification of
Relevant Toxicants for
Developmental Neurotoxicity
Recent Publications
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IIVS News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

IIVS initiates Webinar Programme
IIVS Training Workshops
IIVS Visits California Environmental
Protection Agency
Recent Publications
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News from the FAL

Rita Seabra

A Comparison of the Effects of Dietary Advice and a Prescribed Diet on Reducing Liver Size
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A Computer Experiment Model to Investigate the Effects of Drug Dosage in Animals, for Use in Pharmacological Education and Research

Ahmed Babanli, Ali Gunes and Yusuf Ozturk

The ACD-IDEA database, which was originally developed by the authors in 2004, is an ongoing compilation of existing data on the in vivo doses of compounds at which various responses in certain animal species have been observed. It can provide an infrastructure for various research/educational efforts, and creates a synergy for new applications. In this paper, some of these applications are described. Specific interfaces within the database are designed for users who are not computer specialists. Users can search the database to find the answer to a query, or they can design a simple virtual animal experiment. In the second case, the interface is used to undertake a dialogue with the system, in order to test the user’s knowledge regarding an experiment under consideration, and to allow the user to glean additional information on better experimental planning. The use of this virtual experimental tool should lead to savings in time, animals, materials, and monetary costs, while the effective learning outcomes of pharmacological experiments are maintained or enhanced.
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Lessons from Chimpanzee-based Research on Human Disease: The Implications of Genetic Differences

Jarrod Bailey

Assertions that the use of chimpanzees to investigate human diseases is valid scientifically are frequently based on a reported 98–99% genetic similarity between the species. Critical analyses of the relevance of chimpanzee studies to human biology, however, indicate that this genetic similarity does not result in sufficient physiological similarity for the chimpanzee to constitute a good model for research, and furthermore, that chimpanzee data do not translate well to progress in clinical practice for humans. Leading examples include the minimal citations of chimpanzee research that is relevant to human medicine, the highly different pathology of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C virus infection in the two species, the lack of correlation in the efficacy of vaccines and treatments between chimpanzees and humans, and the fact that chimpanzees are not useful for research on human cancer. The major molecular differences underlying these inter-species phenotypic disparities have been revealed by comparative genomics and molecular biology — there are key differences in all aspects of gene expression and protein function, from chromosome and chromatin structure to post-translational modification. The collective effects of these differences are striking, extensive and widespread, and they show that the superficial similarity between human and chimpanzee genetic sequences is of little consequence for biomedical research. The extrapolation of biomedical data from the chimpanzee to the human is therefore highly unreliable, and the use of the chimpanzee must be considered of little value, particularly given the breadth and potential of alternative methods of enquiry that are currently available to science.
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Estimation of the Acute Inhalation Hazards of Chemicals Based on Route-to-route and Local Endpoint Extrapolation: Experience from Bulk Maritime Transport

Thomas Höfer, Derek James, Tore Syversen and Tim Bowmer

Data on acute lethal inhalation toxicity from animal studies are commonly required for assessing the hazards to human health of volatile, gaseous and dusty chemicals or their mixtures. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) made the provision of acute inhalation toxicity data a mandatory requirement for the carriage of bulk liquid chemicals transported by sea in tank ships, thereby creating the need for inhalation data on many hundreds of chemicals in bulk maritime transport. Taking note of previously published proposals for estimating acute inhalation toxicity hazards for chemicals, and the paucity of measured experimental data, an extrapolation method has been developed by the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) to partly fulfil this need. This method should be seen as a pragmatic approach to the challenge of missing measured experimental test data, with the added benefit of reducing tests in experimental animals. The method is based on a route-to-route (i.e. between-route) extrapolation of information on acute oral and/or dermal toxicity, in combination with data on the potential for irritation and/or corrosion to skin and eyes. The validation of this method was based on the individual evaluation of inhalation toxicity studies for 330 chemicals, including mixtures and many important chemical groups, for which the IMO holds public and industryconfidential data. The authors contend that this extrapolation method offers a reliable basis for hazard evaluation in the context of bulk maritime transport, and the ‘GESAMP inhalation toxicity extrapolation method’ has become part of the IMO regulatory system for the carriage of bulk liquids (i.e. noxious liquid substances) on board tank ships.
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Willingness to Spare Animals in Undergraduate Medical Education in Southern India: A Preliminary Questionnaire Questionnairebased


Animal experiments continue to play an integral role in Indian undergraduate medical education, even though alternatives are becoming increasingly available. In this context, this study aimed to assess the perceptions of pharmacology faculty members from medical colleges in southern India regarding the use of animals and alternatives in experimental pharmacology, and to determine the association between these perceptions and the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. Data were collected from 59 faculty members of 15 medical colleges in southern India. The response rate was 84.3%. A 30-statement, five-domain questionnaire was used, with a global score of 120. The mean ± SD global score was 60.9 ± 17.3. Significant differences were observed in domain scores and individual statement scores with respect to the extent of teaching experience. There were no statistically significant differences in perceptions with respect to age, gender or educational qualifications. All the participating colleges were conducting at least 3–8 animal experiments per year on the rabbit, rat, mouse and frog/toad. The pharmacology faculty members in the southern India medical colleges included in the study (especially the more experienced teachers) supported animal use in undergraduate medical education, in spite of being aware of the drawbacks of animal experiments and the availability of alternatives.
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