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.
Scientists from the JRC and US Environmental Protection Agency examined how and to what extent mathematical models of biological organisms are used in toxicology, and identified a number of challenges that need to be overcome for wider use and regulatory acceptance of these non-animal approaches.
JRC scientists have shown that human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons are suitable non-animal models for testing neurotoxicity during brain development. The study revealed that long term exposure to the pesticide rotenone induces oxidative stress and can trigger neuronal cell death.
EU-NETVAL is a large network of highly qualified test facilities across Europe, coordinated by the Joint Research Centre to support the in vitro method validation process.
International experts, including JRC scientists, recommend as outcome of special workshop the deletion or replacement of specific animal tests for the quality control of medicinal products, in particular biologicals (e.g. hormones, vaccines, immunoglobulins, blood products).
JRC scientists have studied in vitro short and long-term effects of a model cardiotoxicant on mitochondrial function of human cardiomyocytes with the ultimate aim of defining biomarkers that could help in predicting potential cardiotoxic effects induced by chemicals upon acute and repeat dosing.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra hosted a two day workshop on 27-28th September 2017 to address how the complex and dynamic processes of inflammation could be integrated within the context of the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) framework. This will contribute to the ongoing work to accelerate progress in the development of non-animal test methods.
JRC scientists have reviewed the current status and potential applicability of computational methods for predicting the properties of engineered nanomaterials, especially in view of EU chemicals legislation (in particular REACH). The outcome of the study revealed that considerable scientific progress has been made, although challenges remain in translating these developments into regulatory practice.
JRC scientists contributed to the review of in silico models that have been developed for the prediction of skin permeability. Such models are relevant for the implementation of EU legislation on chemicals that strongly recommend or require the use of alternative approaches to animal studies.
JRC scientists – in close collaboration with the Universities of Milan and Florence in Italy – investigated the relationship between increasing concentrations of two carcinogens, namely nickel chloride and benzopyrene, and specific features of cell transformation assays (CTAs).
This work paves the way for improved exploitation of CTAs for carcinogenicity testing.
The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has published an article on the possible use of a simple modelling approach to avoid the need for chronic fish testing in chemical risk assessment.
The assessment of aquatic toxicity is an important component of the environmental hazard and risk assessment of all types of chemicals, and is therefore included in several pieces of EU chemicals legislation.