alternative method

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The Ex Vivo Eye Irritation Test as an Alternative Test Method for Serious Eye Damage/Eye Irritation

Felix Spöler, Oya Kray, Stefan Kray, Claudia Panfil, and Norbert F. Schrage

Ocular irritation testing is a common requirement for the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals (substances and mixtures). The in vivo Draize rabbit eye test (OECD Test Guideline 405) is considered to be the regulatory reference method for the classification of chemicals according to their potential to induce eye injury. In the Draize test, chemicals are applied to rabbit eyes in vivo, and changes are monitored over time. If no damage is observed, the chemical is not categorised. Otherwise, the classification depends on the severity and reversibility of the damage. Alternative test methods have to be designed to match the classifications from the in vivo reference method. However, observation of damage reversibility is usually not possible in vitro. Within the present study, a new organotypic method based on rabbit corneas obtained from food production is demonstrated to close this gap. The Ex Vivo Eye Irritation Test (EVEIT) retains the full biochemical activity of the corneal epithelium, epithelial stem cells and endothelium. This permits the in-depth analysis of ocular chemical trauma beyond that achievable by using established in vitro methods. In particular, the EVEIT is the first test to permit the direct monitoring of recovery of all corneal layers after damage. To develop a prediction model for the EVEIT that is comparable to the GHS system, 37 reference chemicals were analysed. The experimental data were used to derive a three-level potency ranking of eye irritation and corrosion that best fits the GHS categorisation. In vivo data available in the literature were used for comparison. When compared with GHS classification predictions, the overall accuracy of the three-level potency ranking was 78%. The classification of chemicals as irritating versus non-irritating resulted in 96% sensitivity, 91% specificity and 95% accuracy.
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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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A Tutorial for Analysing the Cost-effectiveness of Alternative Methods for Assessing Chemical Toxicity: The Case of Acute Oral Toxicity Prediction

Hedvig Norlen, Andrew P. Worth and Silke Gabbert

Compared with traditional animal methods for toxicity testing, in vitro and in silico methods are widely considered to permit a more cost-effective assessment of chemicals. However, how to assess the cost-effectiveness of alternative methods has remained unclear. This paper offers a user-oriented tutorial for applying cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) to alternative (non-animal) methods. The purpose is to illustrate how CEA facilitates the identification of the alternative method, or the combination of methods, that offers the highest information gain per unit of cost. We illustrate how information gains and costs of single methods and method combinations can be assessed. By using acute oral toxicity as an example, we apply CEA to a set of four in silico methods (ToxSuite, TOPKAT, TEST, ADMET Predictor), one in vitro method (the 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake cytotoxicity assay), and various combinations of these methods. Our results underline that in silico tools are more cost-effective than the in vitro test. Battery combinations of alternative methods, however, do not necessarily outperform single methods, because additional information gains from the battery are easily outweighed by additional costs.

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The Validation of Toxicological Prediction Models

Graeme Archer, Michael Balls, Leon H. Bruner, Rodger D. Curren, Julia H. Fentem, Hermann-Georg Holzhütter, Manfred Liebsch, David P. Lovell and Jacqueline A. Southee

An alternative method is shown to consist of two parts: the test system itself; and a prediction model for converting in vitro endpoints into predictions of in vivo toxicity. For the alternative method to be relevant and reliable, it is important that its prediction model component is of high predictive power and is sufficiently robust against sources of data variability. In other words, the prediction model must be subjected to criticism, leading successful models to the state of confirmation. It is shown that there are certain circumstances in which a new prediction model may be introduced without the necessity to generate new test system data.
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Methyl Green-Pyronine Staining of Porcine Organotypic Skin Explant Cultures: An Alternative Model for Screening for Skin Irritants

John J.L. Jacobs, Cynthia Lehé, Keith D.A. Cammans, Pranab K.
Das and Graham R. Elliott

We describe a new alternative method for screening for skin irritants by using fresh intact porcine skin biopsies. Test chemicals were applied to the epidermis of the biopsies, which were then incubated for different times in tissue culture medium at 37°C and with 5% carbon dioxide. A decrease in epidermal keratinocyte RNA staining, visualised in frozen sections by using a modified methyl-green pyronine (MGP) staining procedure, was employed as a marker of irritancy. If a decrease in epidermal RNA was observed after incubation for 4 hours (strong irritant), the chemical had an MGP score of 3; if after incubation for 24 hours (moderate irritant), the MGP score was 2; and if after incubation for 48 hours (weak irritant), the MGP score was 1. If no keratinocyte cytotoxicity was observed after incubation for 48 hours, the chemical was classified as non-irritant (MGP score = 0). At least three ears were used per chemical. The average MGP score was used to classify the chemical. Based on the MGP score for 20% sodium dodecyl sulphate, chemicals classified as strong or moderate irritants by using the MGP test were grouped together as category R38 chemicals. Weak irritants or non-irritants were not classified (NC). The MGP staining correctly identified 23 of 25 skin irritants for which reference data were available.
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The Role of ECVAM in Promoting the Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods in the European Union

Andrew P. Worth and Michael Balls

The roles played by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) and its advisory committee, the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC), in the evolution of alternative methods are described. Particular emphasis is given to the process by which ECVAM and the ESAC assess the scientific validities of alternative methods, and, in appropriate cases, initiate the progression of scientifically validated methods toward regulatory acceptance.
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The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM): A Review of the ICCVAM Test Method Evaluation Process and Current International Collaborations with the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM)

William S. Stokes, Leonard M. Schechtman and Richard N. Hill

Over the last decade, national authorities in the USA and Europe have launched initiatives to validate new and improved toxicological test methods. In the USA, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM), and its supporting National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), were established by the Federal Government to work with test developers and Federal agencies to facilitate the validation, review, and adoption of new scientifically sound test methods, including alternatives that can reduce, refine, and replace animal use. In Europe, the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) was established to conduct validation studies on alternative test methods. Despite differences in organisational structure and processes, both organisations seek to achieve the adoption and use of alternative test methods. Accordingly, both have adopted similar validation and regulatory acceptance criteria. Collaborations and processes have also evolved to facilitate the international adoption of new test methods recommended by ECVAM and ICCVAM. These collaborations involve the sharing of expertise and data for test-method workshops and independent scientific peer reviews, and the adoption of processes to expedite the consideration of test methods already reviewed by the other organisation. More recently, NICEATM and ECVAM initiated a joint international validation study on in vitro methods for assessing acute systemic toxicity. These collaborations are expected to contribute to accelerated international adoption of harmonised new test methods that will support improved public health and provide for reduced and more-humane use of laboratory animals.
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Directive 86/609/EEC on the Protection of Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes1

Susanna Louhimies

Directive 86/609/EEC regulates the use of animals for experimental and other scientific purposes in the EU. The Directive seeks to improve the controls on the use of laboratory animals, and to set minimum standards for housing and care, and for the training of personnel handling these animals and supervising the experiments. It also aims to reduce the numbers of animals used for experiments, by encouraging the development and the validation of alternative methods to replace animals methods. Since the scientific basis of the Directive dates back at least 15 years, the Commission is planning on an in-depth revision of the Directive. The Commission aims to have a first draft proposal ready by the end of 2003.
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