Murine Alveolar Epithelial Cells and Their Lentivirus-mediated Immortalisation

Sandra Sapich, Marius Hittinger, Remi Hendrix-Jastrzebski, Urska Repnik, Gareth Griffiths, Tobias May, Dagmar Wirth, Robert Bals, Nicole Schneider-Daum and Claus-Michael Lehr

In this study, we describe the isolation and immortalisation of primary murine alveolar epithelial cells (mAEpC), as well as their epithelial differentiation and barrier properties when grown on Transwell® inserts. Like human alveolar epithelial cells (hAEpC), mAEpC transdifferentiate in vitro from an alveolar type II (ATII) phenotype to an ATI-like phenotype and exhibit features of the air–blood barrier, such as the establishment of a thin monolayer with functional tight junctions (TJs). This is demonstrated by the expression of TJ proteins (ZO-1 and occludin) and the development of high transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), peaking at 1800Ω•cm2. Transport across the air–blood barrier, for general toxicity assessments or preclinical drug development, is typically studied in mice. The aim of this work was the generation of novel immortalised murine lung cell lines, to help meet Three Rs requirements in experimental testing and research. To achieve this goal, we lentivirally transduced mAEpC of two different mouse strains with a library of 33 proliferation-promoting genes. With this immortalisation approach, we obtained two murine alveolar epithelial lentivirus-immortalised (mAELVi) cell lines. Both showed similar TJ protein localisation, but exhibited less prominent barrier properties (TEERmax ~250Ω•cm2) when compared to their primary counterparts. While mAEpC demonstrated their suitability for use in the assessment of paracellular transport rates, mAELVi cells could potentially replace mice for the prediction of acute inhalation toxicity during early ADMET studies.

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Exploring Waiving Opportunities for Mammalian Acute Systemic Toxicity Tests

Graepel EUSurvey

Rabea Graepel, David Asturiol, Pilar Prieto and Andrew P. Worth

A survey was carried out to explore opportunities for waiving mammalian acute systemic toxicity tests. We were interested in finding out whether data from a sub-acute toxicity test could be used to predict the outcome of an acute systemic toxicity test. The survey was directed at experts in the field of toxicity testing, and was carried out in the context of the upcoming 2018 final registration deadline for chemicals under the EU REACH Regulation. In addition to the survey, a retrospective data analysis of chemicals that had already been registered with the European Chemicals Agency, and for which both acute and sub-acute toxicity data were available, was carried out. This data analysis was focused on chemicals that were administered via the oral route. The answers to the questionnaire showed a willingness to adopt waiving opportunities. In addition, the responses showed that data from a sub-acute toxicity test or dose-range finding study might be useful for predicting chemicals that do not require classification for acute oral toxicity (LD50 > 2000mg/kg body weight). However, with the exception of substances that fall into the non-classified category, it is difficult to predict current acute oral toxicity categories.
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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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