cell transformation

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Toxicity Assessment of Tobacco Products in Vitro

Joseph R. Manuppello and Kristie M. Sullivan

Driven by new regulatory demands to demonstrate risk reduction, the toxicity assessment of tobacco products increasingly employs innovative in vitro methods, including biphasic cell and tissue cultures exposed to whole cigarette smoke at the air–liquid interface, cell transformation assays, and genomic analyses. At the same time, novel tobacco products are increasingly compared to traditional cigarettes. This overview of in vitro toxicology studies of tobacco products reported in the last five years provides evidence to support the prioritisation of in vitro over in vivo methods by industry and their recommendation by regulatory authorities.
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The Use of In Vitro Systems to Assess Cancer Mechanisms and the Carcinogenic Potential of Chemicals

Damien Breheny, Oluwatobiloba Oke and Stephen P. Faux

Carcinogenesis is a highly complex, multi-stage process that can occur over a relatively long period before its clinical manifestation. While the sequence in which a cancer cell acquires the necessary traits for tumour formation can vary, there are a number of mechanisms that are common to most, if not all, cancers across the spectrum of possible causes. Many aspects of carcinogenesis can be modelled in vitro. This has led to the development of a number of mechanistically driven, cell-based assays to assess the pro-carcinogenic and anti-carcinogenic potential of chemicals. A review is presented of the current in vitro models that can be used to study carcinogenesis, with examples of cigarette smoke testing in some of these models, in order to illustrate their potential applications. We present an overview of the assays used in regulatory genotoxicity testing, as well as those designed to model other aspects that are considered to be hallmarks of cancer. The latter assays are described with a view to demonstrating the recent advances in these areas, to a point where they should now be considered for inclusion in an overall testing strategy for chemical carcinogens.
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Cigarette Smoke-induced Morphological Transformation of Bhas 42 Cells In Vitro

Dirk Weisensee, Albrecht Poth, Ewald Roemer, Lynda L. Conroy and Walter K. Schlage

In vitro cell transformation assays detect transformed cells that have acquired the distinct characteristics of malignant cells and thus model one stage of in vivo carcinogenesis. These assays have been proposed as surrogate models for predicting the non-genotoxic carcinogenic potential of chemicals. The Bhas 42 cell transformation assay, a short-term assay that uses v-Ha-ras-transfected Balb/c 3T3 cells, can detect the tumour promoter-like activities of chemicals, but has not previously been used with cigarette smoke. The particulate phase of cigarette smoke (total particulate matter [TPM]) is known to induce tumours in vivo in the mouse skin painting assay. Therefore, we investigated the ability of this Bhas cell assay to form morphologically transformed foci in vitro when repeatedly challenged with TPM from a standard research cigarette. TPM induced a dose-dependent increase in Type III foci, and a significant increase (up to 20-fold) in focus formation at moderately toxic concentrations between 5 and 60μg TPM/ml, with a peak at 20μg/ml. Three batches of TPM were tested in three independent experiments. Precision (repeatability and reproducibility) was calculated by using 0, 5, 10, and 20μg TPM/ml. Repeatability and reproducibility, expressed as the relative standard deviation obtained from the normalised slopes of the dose–response curves, were 17.2% and 19.6%, respectively; the slopes were 0.7402 ± 0.1247, 0.9347 ± 0.1316, and 0.8772 ± 0.1767 (increase factor*ml/mg TPM; mean ± SD); and the goodness of fit (r2) of the mean slopes, each derived from n = 6 repeats, was 0.9449, 0.8198, and 0.8344, respectively. This in vitro assay with Bhas 42 cells, which are regarded as already initiated in the two-stage paradigm of carcinogenesis (initiation and promotion), is able to detect cell transformation induced by cigarette smoke in a dose-dependent manner with a high sensitivity and good precision. Because this assay is fast and yields reliable results, it may be useful in product assessment, as well as for further investigation of the non-genotoxic carcinogenic activity of tobacco smoke-related test substances.

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