skin irritation

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Interleukin-1α and Interleukin-8 Release by Human Keratinocyte Cell Culture Treated with Surfactants

Michio Shibata, Takanari Tsuda, Hiroshi Itagaki, Shinobu Kato,
Toshiaki Kobayashi, Hideyuki Ichikawa and Yoshihiro Morikawa

The effects of four cosmetic surfactants on interleukin (IL)-1α and IL-8 release from human keratinocytes were studied to investigate the feasibility of using these effects for the prediction of the irritation potential of chemicals. After exposure of cells to surfactants, the amounts of IL-1α and IL-8 released into culture medium were measured by ELISA. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by using the neutral red uptake (NRU) cytotoxicity assay. Cytokine release was increased 7–15 times by sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), laurtrimonium chloride, cocamidopropyl betaine (CPB) and Oleth-5 at cytotoxic concentrations. IL-8 release was increased 3–4 times by SLS, CPB and Oleth-5 at subcytotoxic concentrations. After exposure to SLS, IL-1α was released within 1 hour, suggesting that IL-1α release is associated with membrane damage, whereas IL-8 release continued for 24 hours, suggesting that IL-8 was produced within the cells. Cytotoxicity tests and IL-8 release assays were also performed on seven other surfactants. The results show that moderate irritants CPB and PEG-4 dioleate, which have weak cytotoxic effects, significantly increased IL-8 release from human keratinocytes. It is suggested that measurement of IL-8 release is useful for predicting the irritation potential of chemicals which cannot be detected by using the NRU cytotoxicity assay.
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Follow-up to the ECVAM Prevalidation Study on In Vitro Tests for Acute Skin Irritation

Valérie Zuang, Michael Balls, Philip A. Botham, Alain Coquette, Emanuela Corsini, Rodger D. Curren, Graham R. Elliott, Julia H. Fentem, Jon R. Heylings, Manfred Liebsch, Jesús Medina, Roland Roguet, Johannes J.M. van de Sandt, Christianne Wiemann and Andrew P. Worth1

The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) Skin Irritation Task Force was established in 1996, to review the status of the development and validation of alternative tests for skin irritation and corrosion, and to identify appropriate non-animal tests for predicting human skin irritation that were sufficiently well-developed to be prevalidated and validated by ECVAM. The EpiDerm™ method, based on a reconstituted human skin model, was proposed as being sufficiently well advanced to enter a prevalidation (PV) study. Based on a review of test protocols, prediction models (PMs), and data submitted by test developers on ten specified chemicals, with 20% sodium lauryl sulphate as a reference standard, the task force recommended the inclusion of four other tests: EPISKIN™ and PREDISKIN™, based on reconstituted human epidermis or on human skin; the non-perfused pig-ear test, based on pig skin; and
the skin integrity function test (SIFT), with ex vivo mouse skin. The prevalidation study on these methods was funded by ECVAM, and took place during 1999-2000. The outcome of the PV study was that none of the methods was ready to enter a formal validation study, and that the protocols and PMs of the methods had to be improved in order to increase their predictive abilities. Improved protocols and PMs for the EpiDerm and EPISKIN methods, the pig ear test, and the SIFT were presented at an extended Task Force meeting held in May 2001. It was agreed that, in the short term, the performance of the revised and harmonised EpiDerm and EPISKIN methods, as well as the modified SIFT, should be evaluated in a further study with a new set of 20 test chemicals. In addition, it was decided that the SIFT and the pig-ear test would be compared to see if common endpoints (transepidermal water loss, methyl green-pyronine stain) could be identified.
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Validation Successes: Chemicals

Horst Spielmann and Manfred Liebsch

The ECVAM validation concept, which was defined at two validation workshops held in Amden (Switzerland) in 1990 and 1994, and which takes into account the essential elements of prevalidation and biostatistically defined prediction models, has been officially accepted by European Union (EU) Member States, by the Federal regulatory agencies of the USA, and by the OECD. The ECVAM validation concept was introduced into the ongoing ECVAM/COLIPA validation study of in vitro phototoxicity tests, which ended successfully in 1998. The 3T3 neutral red uptake in vitro phototoxicity test was the first experimentally validated in vitro toxicity test recommended for regulatory purposes by the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC). It was accepted by the EU into the legislation for chemicals in the year 2000. From 1996 to 1998, two in vitro skin corrosivity tests were successfully validated by ECVAM, and they were also officially accepted into the EU regulations for chemicals in the year 2000. Meanwhile, in 2002, the OECD Test Guidelines Programme is considering the worldwide acceptance of the validated in vitro phototoxicity and corrosivity tests. Finally, from 1997 to 2000, an ECVAM validation study on three in vitro embryotoxicity tests was successfully completed. Therefore, the three in vitro embryotoxicity tests, the whole embryo culture (WEC) test on rat embryos, the micromass (MM) test on limb bud cells of mouse embryos, and the embryonic stem cell test (EST) including a permanent embryonic mouse stem cell line, are considered to be scientifically valid and appropriate for routine use in laboratories of the European pharmaceutical and chemicals industries.
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ECVAM’s Activities in Validating Alternative Tests for Skin Corrosion and Irritation

Julia H. Fentem and Philip A. Botham

ECVAM has funded and managed validation studies on in vitro tests for skin corrosion, resulting in the validities of four in vitro tests being endorsed by the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee: the rat skin transcutaneous electrical resistance (TER) assay, two tests based on the use of commercial reconstituted human skin equivalents, EPISKIN™ and EpiDerm™, and another commerciallyproduced test, CORROSITEX®. In the European Union (EU), a new test method on skin corrosion (B.40), incorporating the rat skin TER and human skin model assays, was included in Annex V of Directive 67/548/EEC in mid-2000, thereby making the use of in vitro alternatives for skin corrosion testing of chemicals mandatory in the EU. At the recommendation of its Skin Irritation Task Force, ECVAM has funded prevalidation studies on five in vitro tests for acute skin irritation: EpiDerm, EPISKIN, PREDISKIN™, the pig-ear test, and the mouse-skin integrity function test (SIFT). However, none of the tests met the criteria (set by the Management Team for the studies) for inclusion in a large-scale formal validation study. Thus, to date, there are no validated in vitro tests for predicting the dermal irritancy of chemicals. Following further work on the EPISKIN, EpiDerm and SIFT test protocols and/or prediction models after the completion of the prevalidation studies, it appears that the modified tests could meet the performance criteria defined for progression to a validation study. This will now be assessed independently by the ECVAM Skin Irritation Task Force, with the objective of taking a decision before the end of 2002 on whether to conduct a formal validation study.
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The In Vitro Acute Skin Irritation of Chemicals: Optimisation of the EPISKIN Prediction Model within the Framework of the ECVAM Validation Process

José Cotovio, Marie-Hélène Grandidier, Pascal Portes, Roland Roguet and Gilles Rubinstenn

In view of the increasing need to identify non-animal tests able to predict acute skin irritation of chemicals, the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) focused on the evaluation of appropriate in vitro models. In vitro tests should be capable of discriminating between irritant (I) chemicals (EU risk: R38) and non-irritant (NI) chemicals (EU risk: “no classification”). Since major in vivo skin irritation assays rely on visual scoring, it is still a challenge to correlate in vivo clinical signs with in vitro biochemical measurements. Being particularly suited to test raw materials or chemicals with a wide variety of physical properties, in vitro skin models resembling in vivo human skin were involved in prevalidation processes. Among many other factors, cytotoxicity is known to trigger irritation processes, and can therefore be a first common event for irritants. A refined protocol (protocol15min–18hours) for the EPISKIN model had been proposed for inclusion in the ECVAM formal validation study. A further improvement on this protocol, mainly based on a post-treatment incubation period of 42 hours (protocol15min–42hours), the optimised protocol, was applied to a set of 48 chemicals. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy with the MTT assay-based prediction model (PM) were 85%, 78.6% and 81.3% respectively, with a low rate of false negatives (12%). The improved performance of this optimised protocol was confirmed by a higher robustness (homogeneity of individual responses) and a better discrimination between the I and NI classes. To improve the MTT viability-based PM, the release of a membrane damage marker, adenylate kinase (AK), and of cytokines IL-1α and IL-8 were also investigated. Combining these endpoints, a simple two-tiered strategy (TTS) was developed, with the MTT assay as the first, sort-out, stage. This resulted in a clear increase in sensitivity to 95%, and a fall in the false-positive rate (to 4.3%), thus demonstrating its usefulness as a “decision- making” tool. The optimised protocol proved, both by its higher performances and by its robustness, to be a good candidate for the validation process, as well as a potential alternative method for assessing acute skin irritation.
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The EpiDerm Test Protocol for the Upcoming ECVAM Validation Study on In Vitro Skin Irritation Tests — An Assessment of the Performance of the Optimised Test

Helena Kandárová, Manfred Liebsch, Ingrid Gerner, Elisabeth Schmidt, Elke Genschow, Dieter Traue and Horst Spielmann

During the past decade, several validation studies have been conducted on in vitro methods for discriminating between skin irritating and non-irritating chemicals. The reconstructed human skin models, EpiDerm and EPISKIN, provided the most promising results. Based on experience of the similar performance of the two skin models, it was suggested that a common test protocol and prediction model should be developed for the prediction of skin irritation potential with the two models. When the EPISKIN protocol was applied with the EpiDerm model, an acceptable specificity (80%) was achieved, whereas the sensitivity (60%) was low. In 2003, the EPISKIN protocol was further refined by extending the post-incubation period following exposure to test chemicals. This extension and additional technical improvements to the EpiDerm protocol were evaluated with 19 chemicals from the prevalidation study. With the new test design, high sensitivity (80%) and specificity (78%) were obtained. The statistical probability for correct classifications was high, so the test was considered to be ready for formal validation. However, since test optimisation had been conducted with the same test chemicals as were used in the ECVAM prevalidation study, it was decided that the optimisation of the protocol had to be verified with a new set of chemicals. Thus, in the current study, 26 additional chemicals (10 rabbit irritants and 16 non-irritants), which had previously been selected and tested by L’ORÉAL with EPISKIN, were evaluated in three independent experiments with EpiDerm. With this unbalanced testing set, a specificity of 94%, and a sensitivity of 60% were obtained, while the positive and negative predictivity and accuracy remained almost unchanged (around 80%) in comparison to the in vivo rabbit data. Overall, 45 chemicals (20 irritants and 25 non-irritants) were tested according to the final protocol. The resulting high positive (82%) and negative predictive values (79%) confirmed the reliability (accuracy of 80%) of the improved test protocol of the EpiDerm model.
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Assessment of the Skin Irritation Potential of Chemicals by Using the SkinEthic Reconstructed Human Epidermal Model and the Common Skin Irritation Protocol Evaluated in the ECVAM Skin Irritation Validation Study

Helena Kandárová, Manfred Liebsch, Elisabeth Schmidt, Elke Genschow, Dieter Traue, Horst Spielmann, Kirstin Meyer, Claudia Steinhoff, Carine Tornier, Bart De Wever and Martin Rosdy

Currently, two reconstructed human skin models, EpiDerm™ and EPISKIN™ are being evaluated in an ECVAM skin irritation validation study. A common skin irritation protocol has been developed, differing only in minor technical details for the two models. A small-scale study, applying this common skin irritation protocol to the SkinEthic reconstructed human epidermis (RHE), was performed at ZEBET at the BfR, Berlin, Germany, to consider whether this protocol could be successfully transferred to another epidermal model. Twenty substances from Phase III of the ECVAM prevalidation study on skin irritation were tested with the SkinEthic RHE™. After minor, model-specific adaptations for the SkinEthic RHE, almost identical results to those obtained with the EpiDerm and EPISKIN models were achieved. The overall accuracy of the method was more than 80%, indicating a reliable prediction of the skin irritation potential of the tested chemicals when compared to in vivo rabbit data. As a next step, inter-laboratory reproducibility was assessed in a study conducted between ZEBET and the Department of Experimental Toxicology, Schering AG, Berlin, Germany. Six coded substances were tested in both laboratories, with three different batches of the SkinEthic model. The assay results showed good reproducibility and correct predictions of the skin irritation potential for all six test chemicals. The results obtained with the SkinEthic RHE and the common protocol were reproducible in both phases, and the overall outcome is very similar to that of earlier studies with the EPISKIN and EpiDerm models. Therefore, the SkinEthic skin irritation assay test protocol can now be evaluated in a formal “catch-up” validation study.
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In Vitro Tests within the REACH Information Strategies

Kimmo Louekari, Kirsi Sihvonen, Marko Kuittinen and Vibeke Sømnes

Tonnage-based information requirements are specified in the proposal on the regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) in the European Union. The hazard assessment for toxic endpoints should be performed by using a tiered approach, i.e. as an information strategy (IS), starting with an evaluation of all of the data already available, including animal in vivo and in vitro data, and human evidence and case reports, as well as data from (Quantitative)-Structure Activity Relationships ([Q]SARs) or read-across, before any further testing is suggested. To contribute to the implementation of the REACH system, the Nordic countries launched two projects: 1) a review of currently used testing strategies, including a comparison with the REACH requirements; and 2) the development of detailed ISs for skin and eye irritation/corrosion. The review showed that the ISs and classification criteria for the selected endpoints are inconsistent in many cases. In the classification criteria, human data and in vivo test results are usually the prerequisites. Other types of information, such as data from in vitro studies, can sometimes be used, but usually as supportive evidence only. This differs from the REACH ISs, where QSARs, read-across and in vitro testing are important elements. In the other part of the project, an IS for skin and eye irritation/corrosion was proposed. The strategy was “tested” by using four high production volume (HPV) chemicals: hydrogen peroxide, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), trivalent chromium, and diantimony trioxide, but only MTBE and trivalent chromium are dealt with in this paper. The “test” revealed that in vivo data, human case reports and physical-chemical data were available and could be used in the evaluation. Classification could be based on the proposed IS and the existing data in all cases, except for the eye irritation/corrosion of trivalent chromium. Weight-of-evidence analysis appeared to be a useful step in the ISs proposed, and including it in the REACH strategies should be considered. For these chemicals, few in vitro and (Q)SAR data were available — more of these data would be generated, if the relevant guidance and legislation on classification were updated.
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Integrated Decision-tree Testing Strategies for Skin Corrosion and Irritation with Respect to the Requirements of the EU REACH Legislation

Christina Grindon, Robert Combes, Mark T.D. Cronin, David W. Roberts and John F. Garrod

Liverpool John Moores University and FRAME recently conducted a research project, sponsored by Defra, on the status of alternatives to animal testing with regard to the European Union REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) system for the safety testing and risk assessment of chemicals. The project covered all the main toxicity endpoints associated with the REACH system. This report focuses on how to maximise the use of alternative methods (both in vitro and in silico) for skin corrosion and irritation testing within a tiered testing strategy. It considers the latest developments in in vitro testing, with particular reference to the reconstituted skin models which have now been now been successfully validated and independently endorsed as suitable for both skin corrosivity and irritancy testing within the EU.
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The ECVAM International Validation Study on In Vitro Tests for Acute Skin Irritation: Report on the Validity of the EPISKIN and EpiDerm Assays and on the Skin Integrity Function Testa

Horst Spielmann, Sebastian Hoffmann, Manfred Liebsch, Phil Botham, Julia H. Fentem, Chantra Eskes, Roland Roguet, José Cotovio, Thomas Cole, Andrew Worth, Jon Heylings, Penny Jones, Catherine Robles, Helena Kandárová, Armin Gamer, Marina Remmele, Rodger Curren, Hans Raabe, Amanda Cockshott, Ingrid Gerner and Valérie Zuang

ECVAM sponsored a formal validation study on three in vitro tests for skin irritation, of which two employ reconstituted human epidermis models (EPISKIN™, EpiDerm™), and one, the skin integrity function test (SIFT), employs ex vivo mouse skin. The goal of the study was to assess whether the in vitro tests would correctly predict in vivo classifications according to the EU lassification scheme, “R38“ and “no label“ (i.e. non-irritant). 58 chemicals (25 irritants and 33 non-irritants) were tested, having been selected to give broad coverage of physico–chemical properties, and an adequate distribution of irritancy scores derived from in vivo rabbit skin irritation tests. In Phase 1, 20 of these chemicals (9 irritants and 11 nonirritants) were tested with coded identities by a single lead laboratory for each of the methods, to confirm the suitability of the protocol improvements introduced after a prevalidation phase. When cell viability (evaluated by the MTT reduction test) was used as the endpoint, the predictive ability of both EpiDerm and EPISKIN was considered sufficient to justify their progression to Phase 2, while the predictive ability of the SIFT was judged to be inadequate. Since both the reconstituted skin models provided false predictions around the in vivo classification border (a rabbit Draize test score of 2), the release of a cytokine, interleukin- 1α (IL-1α), was also determined. In Phase 2, each human skin model was tested in three laboratories, with 58 chemicals. The main endpoint measured for both EpiDerm and EPISKIN was cell viability. In samples from chemicals which gave MTT assay results above the threshold of 50% viability, IL-1α release was also measured, to determine whether the additional endpoint would improve the predictive ability of the tests. For EPISKIN, the sensitivity was 75% and the specificity was 81% (MTT assay only); with the combination of the MTT and IL-1α assays, the sensitivity increased to 91%, with a specificity of 79%. For EpiDerm, the sensitivity was 57% and the specificity was 85% (MTT assay only), while the predictive capacity of EpiDerm was not improved by the measurement of IL-1α release. Following independent peer review, in April 2007 the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee endorsed the scientific validity of the EPISKIN test as a replacement for the rabbit skin irritation method, and of the EpiDerm method for identifying skin irritants as part of a tiered testing strategy. This new alternative approach will probably be the first use of in vitro toxicity testing to replace the Draize rabbit skin irritation test in Europe and internationally, since, in the very near future, new EU and OECD Test Guidelines will be proposed for regulatory acceptance.
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