high-content analysis

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Adverse Outcome Pathway-based Screening Strategies for an Animal-free Safety Assessment of Chemicals

Brigitte Landesmann, Milena Mennecozzi, Elisabet Berggren and Maurice Whelan

Currently, the assessment of risk to human health from exposure to manufactured chemicals is mainly based on experiments performed on living animals (in vivo). Substantial efforts are being undertaken to develop alternative solutions to in vivo toxicity testing. This new paradigm, based on the Mode-of-Action (MoA) framework, postulates that any adverse human health effect caused by exposure to an exogenous substance can be described by a series of causally-linked biochemical or biological key events with measurable parameters. The elaboration of mechanistic knowledge through literature research is necessary for a MoA-driven design of integrated testing strategies using in vitro methods for in vivo predictions. The objective of our ongoing research is to demonstrate the feasibility of an integrated approach to predict human toxicity following the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) framework. In our previous work on MoA with the HepaRG cell model, we developed a strategy to identify chemicals that were hepatotoxic. This pioneered an innovative way of using data from in vitro experiments to group chemicals based on their MoA, which is likely to be an important step in a toxicity testing strategy.
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