Christina Grindon, Robert Combes, Mark T.D. Cronin, David W. Roberts and John F. Garrod
Liverpool John Moores University and FRAME conducted a research project, sponsored by Defra, on the status of alternatives to animal testing with regard to the European Union REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) system for the safety testing and risk assessment of chemicals. The project covered all the main toxicity endpoints associated with the REACH system. This paper focuses on the prospects for the use of alternative methods (both in vitro and in silico) in developmental and reproductive toxicity testing. It considers many tests based on primary cells and cell lines, and the available expert systems and QSARs for developmental and reproductive toxicity, and also covers tests for endocrine disruption. Ways in which reduction and refinement measures can be used are also discussed, particularly the use of an enhanced one-generation reproductive study, which could potentially replace the two-generation study, and therefore considerably reduce the number of animals required in reproductive toxicity. Decision-tree style integrated testing strategies are also proposed for developmental and reproductive toxicity and for endocrine disruption, followed by a number of recommendations for the future facilitation of developmental and reproductive toxicity testing, with respect to human risk assessment.
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