biokinetic modelling

/Tag:biokinetic modelling

The Necessity of Biokinetic Information in the Interpretation of In Vitro Toxicity Data

Bas J. Blaauboer

Data derived from in vitro toxicity studies are not directly applicable in an assessment of the toxicity of compounds in intact organisms. The major limitation is the lack of knowledge of biokinetic behaviour in vivo. Since the toxicity of a compound will be determined by the critical concentration (or other dose metric) of the critical compound (or a metabolite thereof) at the critical site of toxic action, biokinetic behaviour must be taken into account. Possibilities of biokinetic modelling on the basis of in vitro and other non-animal data are discussed, and the application of the results in hazard and riskassessment schedules is considered.
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An Overall Strategy for the Testing of Chemicals for Human Hazard and Risk Assessment under the EU REACH System

Robert Combes, Martin Barratt and Michael Balls

In its White Paper, Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy, published in 2001, the European Commission (EC) proposed the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals) system to deal with both existing and new chemical substances. This system is based on a top-down approach to toxicity testing, in which the degree of toxicity information required is dictated primarily by production volume (tonnage). If testing is to be based on traditional methods, very large numbers of laboratory animals could be needed in response to the REACH system, causing ethical, scientific and logistical problems that would be incompatible with the time-schedule envisaged for testing. The EC has emphasised the need to minimise animal use, but has failed to produce a comprehensive strategy for doing so. The present document provides an overall scheme for predictive toxicity testing, whereby the non-animal methods identified and discussed in a recent and comprehensive ECVAM document, could be used in a tiered approach to provide a rapid and scientifically justified basis for the risk assessment of chemicals for their toxic effects in humans. The scheme starts with a preliminary risk assessment process (involving available information on hazard and exposure), followed by testing, based on physicochemical properties and (Q)SAR approaches. (Q)SAR analyses are used in conjunction with expert system and biokinetic modelling, and information on metabolism and identification of the principal metabolites in humans. The resulting information is then combined with production levels and patterns of use to assess potential human exposure. The nature and extent of any further testing should be based strictly on the need to fill essential information gaps in order to generate adequate risk assessments, and should rely on non-animal methods, as far as possible. The scheme also includes a feedback loop, so that new information is used to improve the predictivity of computational expert systems. Several recommendations are made, the most important of which is that the European Union (EU) should actively promote the improvement and validation of (Q)SAR models and expert systems, and computer-based methods for biokinetic modelling, since these offer the most realistic and most economical solution to the need to test large numbers of chemicals.
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Biokinetic and Toxicodynamic Modelling and its Role in Toxicological Research and Risk Assessment

Bas J. Blaauboer

Toxicological risk assessment for chemicals is still mainly based on highly standardised protocols for animal experimentation and exposure assessment. However, developments in our knowledge of general physiology, in chemicobiological interactions and in (computer-supported) modelling, have resulted in a tremendous change in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the toxicity of chemicals. This permits the development of biologically based models, in which the biokinetics as well as the toxicodynamics of compounds can be described. In this paper, the possibilities are discussed of developing systems in which the systemic (acute and chronic) toxicities of chemicals can be quantified without the heavy reliance on animal experiments. By integrating data derived from different sources, predictions of toxicity can be made. Key elements in this integrated approach are the evaluation of chemical functionalities representing structural alerts for toxic actions, the construction of biokinetic models on the basis of non-animal data (for example, tissue–blood partition coefficients, in vitro biotransformation parameters), tests or batteries of tests for determining basal cytotoxicity, and more-specific tests for evaluating tissue or organ toxicity. It is concluded that this approach is a useful tool for various steps in toxicological hazard and risk assessment, especially for those forms of toxicity for which validated in vitro and other non-animal tests have already been developed.
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An Overall Strategy for the Testing of Chemicals for Human Hazard and Risk Assessment under the EU REACH System

Robert Combes, Martin Barratt and Michael Balls

In its White Paper, Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy, published in 2001, the European Commission (EC) proposed the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals) system to deal with both existing and new chemical substances. This system is based on a top-down approach to toxicity testing, in which the degree of toxicity information required is dictated primarily by production volume (tonnage). If testing is to be based on traditional methods, very large numbers of laboratory animals could be needed in response to the REACH system, causing ethical, scientific and logistical problems that would be incompatible with the time-schedule envisaged for testing. The EC has emphasised the need to minimise animal use, but has failed to produce a comprehensive strategy for doing so. The present document provides an overall scheme for predictive toxicity testing, whereby the non-animal methods identified and discussed in a recent and comprehensive ECVAM document, could be used in a tiered approach to provide a rapid and scientifically justified basis for the risk assessment of chemicals for their toxic effects in humans. The scheme starts with a preliminary risk assessment process (involving available information on hazard and exposure), followed by testing, based on physicochemical properties and (Q)SAR approaches. (Q)SAR analyses are used in conjunction with expert system and biokinetic modelling, and information on metabolism and identification of the principal metabolites in humans. The resulting information is then combined with production levels and patterns of use to assess potential human exposure. The nature and extent of any further testing should be based strictly on the need to fill essential information gaps in order to generate adequate risk assessments, and should rely on non-animal methods, as far as possible. The scheme also includes a feedback loop, so that new information is used to improve the predictivity of computational expert systems. Several recommendations are made, the most important of which is that the European Union (EU) should actively promote the improvement and validation of (Q)SAR models and expert systems, and computer-based methods for biokinetic modelling, since these offer the most realistic and most economical solution to the need to test large numbers of chemicals.
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