acute toxicity

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Non-animal Replacements for Acute Toxicity Testing

Carol Barker-Treasure, Kevin Coll, Nathalie Belot, Chris Longmore, Karl Bygrave, Suzanne Avey and Richard Clothier

Current approaches to predicting adverse effects in humans from acute toxic exposure to cosmetic ingredients still heavily necessitate the use of animals under EU legislation, particularly in the context of the REACH system, when cosmetic ingredients are also destined for use in other industries. These include the LD50 test, the Up-and-Down Procedure and the Fixed Dose Procedure, which are regarded as having notable scientific deficiencies and low transferability to humans. By expanding on previous in vitro tests, such as the animal cell-based 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake (NRU) assay, this project aims to develop a truly animal-free predictive test for the acute toxicity of cosmetic ingredients in humans, by using human-derived cells and a prediction model that does not rely on animal data. The project, funded by Innovate UK, will incorporate the NRU assay with human dermal fibroblasts in animal product-free culture, to generate an in vitro protocol that can be validated as an accepted replacement for the currently available in vivo tests. To date, the project has successfully completed an assessment of the robustness and reproducibility of the method, by using sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) as a positive control, and displaying analogous results to those of the original studies with mouse 3T3 cells. Currently, the testing of five known ingredients from key groups (a surfactant, a preservative, a fragrance, a colour and an emulsifier) is under way. The testing consists of initial range-finding runs followed by three valid runs of a main experiment with the appropriate concentration ranges, to generate IC50 values. Expanded blind trials of 20 ingredients will follow. Early results indicate that this human cell-based test holds the potential to replace aspects of in vivo animal acute toxicity testing, particularly with reference to cosmetic ingredients.
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Cytotoxicity Studies of Anchorage-independent LS-L-929 Mouse Fibroblasts Using Membrane Integrity, ATP Content and ATP/ ADP Ratio as Determinants: Including the Xenobiotic Effects of Components in an Experimental Shampoo Formulation

Richard B. Kemp,

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Phytotoxicities of Selected Chemicals and Industrial Effluents to Nitellopsis obtusa Cells, Assessed by Using a Rapid Electrophysiological Charophyte Test

Levonas Manusadzianas, Rimantas Vitkus, Ralf Pörtner and Herbert Märkl

The acute phytotoxicities of seven heavy metals (Cd2+, Cu2+, Hg2+, Ni2+, Zn2+, Cr6+ and Co2+), three phenolic compounds (phenol, 3,5-dichlorophenol and pentachlorophenol) and nine industrial effluents were appraised by using a rapid electrophysiological test with cells of the charophyte, Nitellopsis obtusa. The EC50 values (concentrations causing a 50% decrease in resting potential) obtained for reference chemicals were compared with those of five microbiotests (Polytox®, Microtox®, Selenastrum capricornutum growth inhibition, Daphnia magna immobilisation and Rotoxkit FTM) taken from the scientific literature. The 45-minute charophyte test, the freshwater Algaltoxkit FTM, Daphtoxkit FTM and Rotoxkit FTM were conducted simultaneously to assess the toxicities of effluents. The Toxkit microbiotests were typically two orders of magnitude more sensitive than the electrophysiological charophyte test to pure chemicals. The electrophysiological charophyte test was generally more sensitive than the Toxkit microbiotests to complex effluents. The rapid electrophysiological test, employing the 45- minute membrane depolarisation of N. obtusa cells as an endpoint, demonstrated similar sensitivity to heavy metals and phenolic compounds as the 20-minute bacterial Polytox® test, but less sensitivity than the 15-minute Microtox® test. Therefore, this rapid macroalgal test appears to be valuable as a sublethal toxicity screening tool for effluents.
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The Prediction of Human Acute Systemic Toxicity by the EDIT/MEIC In Vitro Test Battery: The Importance of Protein Binding and of Partitioning into Lipids

Cecilia Clemedson, Paul J. Dierickx and Michael Sjöström

The aim of the two studies presented in this paper was to further improve the predictability of the original Multicentre Evaluation of In Vitro Cytotoxicity (MEIC) in vitro test battery for acute systemic toxicity. In the first study, whether a protein-free cytotoxicity assay could improve the prediction of human acute systemic toxicity was investigated. The cytotoxicity of 39 MEIC reference chemicals was measured by the neutral red uptake inhibition test after 30 minutes in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), with hepatomaderived Fa32 cells. The results were compared with the corresponding values obtained in complete culture medium, including 10% fetal calf serum. Mercuric chloride and hexachlorophene were much more cytotoxic in PBS, as was the case, to a lesser extent, for seven other chemicals. Potassium cyanide and eight other chemicals were less cytotoxic in PBS than in complete culture medium, probably because of poor physiological conditions. The correlation between the cytotoxicity measured in PBS and human acute toxicity was rather low, but became of the same order as for other assays, when mercuric chloride and hexachlorophene were withdrawn from the comparison. In the second study, modelling of human lethal blood concentrations by using the results of the three cell line tests of the original MEIC test battery were complemented by logP (octanol–water partition coefficient) values. The introduction of logP into the modelling did not improve the correlations, but some improvement of both R2 and Q2 was obtained by expanding the logP values with logP2 values. The highest R2 (0.84) and Q2 (0.80) values were obtained for a model in which both experimental and calculated (ambiguous) logP values were used. When only experimental logP values were used, the corresponding values were 0.80 and 0.78. These two studies showed that including
protein binding and the partition of chemicals in the MEIC in vitro test battery is important, in order to improve the predictability of the results obtained.
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Integrated Decision-tree Testing Strategies for Acute Systemic Toxicity and Toxicokinetics with Respect to the Requirements of the EU REACH Legislation

Robert Combes, Christina Grindon, Mark T.D. Cronin, David W. Roberts and John F. Garrod

Liverpool John Moores University and FRAME conducted a joint 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 REACH. This paper focuses on the use of alternative (non-animal) methods (both in vitro and in silico) for acute systemic toxicity and toxicokinetic testing. The paper reviews in vitro tests based on basal cytotoxicity and target organ toxicity, along with QSAR models and expert systems available for this endpoint. The use of PBPK modelling for the prediction of ADME properties is also discussed. These tests are then incorporated into a decision- tree style, integrated testing strategy, which also includes the use of refined in vivo acute toxicity tests, as a last resort. The implementation of the strategy is intended to minimise the use of animals in the testing of acute systemic toxicity and toxicokinetics, whilst satisfying the scientific and logistical demands of the EU REACH legislation.
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The Integrated Acute Systemic Toxicity Project (ACuteTox) for the Optimisation and Validation of Alternative In Vitro Tests

Cecilia Clemedson, Ada Kolman and Anna Forsby

The ACuteTox project is designed to replace animal testing for acute systemic toxicity, as is widely used today for regulatory purposes, by using in vitro and in silico alternatives. In spite of the fact that earlier studies on acute systemic toxicity demonstrated a good correlation between in vitro basal cytotoxicity data (the 50% inhibitory concentration [IC50]) in human cell lines and rodent LD50 values, and an even better correlation between IC50 values and human lethal blood concentrations, very few non-animal tests have been accepted for general use. Therefore, the aim of the ACuteTox project is to adapt new testing strategies, for example, the implementation of new endpoints and new cell systems for toxicity screening, organ-specific models, metabolism-dependent toxicity, tissue absorption, distribution and excretion, and computer-based prediction models. A new database, AcuBase, containing descriptions and results of in vitro tests of the 97 reference chemicals, as well as the results of animal experimentation, and human acute toxicity data, will be generated within the framework of ACuteTox. Scientists from 13 European countries are working together and making efforts to find the most appropriate testing strategies for the prediction of human acute systemic toxicity, and also to select a robust in vitro test battery for cytotoxicity testing of chemicals.
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