We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
JRC scientists contributed to a review of the state-of-the-science on available mechanisms and assays to assess acute inhalation toxicity with a focus on non-animal testing approaches.
Scientists from the JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) joined a working group, together with other international experts, to assess acute inhalation toxicity. They discussed how existing knowledge can be used to design effective non-animal testing approaches.
Experts described Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and the Toolbox of non-animal approaches that could be used to investigate relevant mechanisms leading to acute inhalation toxicity.
The review proposes a decision tree to help guide consideration of exposure parameters and the design of an integrated strategy for inhalation testing.
Some important challenges need to be addressed on the way towards meaningful progress in implementing non-animal approaches:
• Curating data in user-friendly databases
• Evaluating of existing QSAR models and developing new ones
• Advancing mechanistic dosimetry models for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation
• Developing and sharing AOPs
• Optimising in vitro systems
• Designing and testing integrated approaches
These mechanistic based non-animal approaches will provide a predictive tool and likely more information to risk assessors than a median lethal concentration (LC50) or other in vivo observations.
Read more in: A.J. Clippinger et al.: 'Pathway-based predictive approaches for non-animal assessment of acute inhalation toxicity'. Toxicology in Vitro 52 (2018) 131–145.