Article

Identification and Characterization of Adverse Effects in 21st Century Toxicology

Sanofi US, Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807, USA.
Toxicological Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.48). 01/2012; 126(2):291-7. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfr350
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The practice of toxicology is changing rapidly, as demonstrated by the response to the 2007 NRC report on "Toxicity Testing in the 21(st) Century." New assays are being developed to replace animal testing; yet the use of data from these assays in decision making is not clear. A Health and Environmental Sciences Institute committee held a May 2011 workshop to discuss approaches to identifying adverse effects in the context of the NRC report. Scientists from industry, government, academia, and NGOs discussed two case studies and explored how information from new, high data content assays developed for screening can be used to differentiate adverse effects from adaptive responses. The terms "adverse effect" and "adaptive response" were defined, as well as two new terms, the relevant pathways of toxicological concern (RPTCs) and relevant responses for regulation (RRRs). RPTCs are biochemical pathways associated with adverse events and need to be elucidated before they are used in regulatory decision making. RRRs are endpoints that are the basis for risk assessment and may or may not be at the level of pathways. Workshop participants discussed the criteria for determining whether, at the RPTC level, an effect is potentially adverse or potentially indicative of adaptability, and how the use of prototypical, data-rich compounds could lead to a greater understanding of RPTCs and their use as RRRs. Also discussed was the use of RPTCs in a weight-of-evidence approach to risk assessment. Inclusion of data at this level could decrease uncertainty in risk assessments but will require the use of detailed dosimetry and consideration of exposure context and the time and dose continuum to yield scientifically based decisions. The results of this project point to the need for an extensive effort to characterize RPTCs and their use in risk assessment to make the vision of the 2007 NRC report a reality.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Douglas C Wolf, Jul 06, 2015
2 Followers
 · 
130 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: New approaches to toxicity testing have incorporated high-throughput screening across a broad-range of in vitro assays to identify potential key events in response to chemical or drug treatment. To date, these approaches have primarily utilized repurposed drug discovery assays. In this study, we describe an approach that combines in vitro screening with genetic approaches for the experimental identification of genes and pathways involved in chemical or drug toxicity. Primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from 32 genetically-characterized inbred mouse strains were treated in concentration-response format with 65 compounds, including pharmaceutical drugs, environmental chemicals, and compounds with known modes-of-action. Integrated cellular responses were measured at 24 and 72 h using high-content imaging and included cell loss, membrane permeability, mitochondrial function, and apoptosis. Genetic association analysis of cross-strain differences in the cellular responses resulted in a collection of candidate loci potentially underlying the variable strain response to each chemical. As a demonstration of the approach, one candidate gene involved in rotenone sensitivity, Cybb, was experimentally validated in vitro and in vivo. Pathway analysis on the combined list of candidate loci across all chemicals identified a number of over-connected nodes that may serve as core regulatory points in toxicity pathways.
    Frontiers in Genetics 08/2014; 5:272. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2014.00272
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposure to biologically active substances such as therapeutic drugs or environmental toxicants can impact biological systems at various levels, affecting individual molecules, signaling pathways, and overall cellular processes. The ability to derive mechanistic insights from the resulting systems responses requires the integration of experimental measures with a priori knowledge about the system and the interacting molecules therein. We developed a novel systems biology-based methodology that leverages mechanistic network models and transcriptomic data to quantitatively assess the biological impact of exposures to active substances. Hierarchically organized network models were first constructed to provide a coherent framework for investigating the impact of exposures at the molecular, pathway and process levels. We then validated our methodology using novel and previously published experiments. For both in vitro systems with simple exposures to in vivo systems with complex exposures, our methodology was able to recapitulate known biological responses matching expected or measured phenotypes. In addition, the quantitative results were in agreement with experimental endpoint data for many of the mechanistic effects that were assessed, providing further objective confirmation of the approach. We conclude that our methodology evaluates the biological impact of exposures in an objective, systematic, and quantifiable manner, enabling the computation of a systems-wide and pan-mechanistic biological impact measure for a given active substance or mixture. Our results suggest that various fields of human disease research, from drug development to consumer product testing and environmental impact analysis, could benefit from using this methodology.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 08/2013; 272(3). DOI:10.1016/j.taap.2013.07.007 · 3.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Over the last dozen years, many national and international expert groups have considered specific improvements to risk assessment. Many of their stated recommendations are mutually supportive, but others appear conflicting, at least in an initial assessment. This review identifies areas of consensus and difference and recommends a practical, biology-centric course forward, which includes: (1) incorporating a clear problem formulation at the outset of the assessment with a level of complexity that is appropriate for informing the relevant risk management decision; (2) using toxicokinetics and toxicodynamic information to develop Chemical Specific Adjustment Factors (CSAF); (3) using mode of action (MOA) information and an understanding of the relevant biology as the key, central organizing principle for the risk assessment; (4) integrating MOA information into dose-response assessments using existing guidelines for non-cancer and cancer assessments; (5) using a tiered, iterative approach developed by the World Health Organization/International Programme on Chemical Safety (WHO/IPCS) as a scientifically robust, fit-for-purpose approach for risk assessment of combined exposures (chemical mixtures); and (6) applying all of this knowledge to enable interpretation of human biomonitoring data in a risk context. While scientifically based defaults will remain important and useful when data on CSAF or MOA to refine an assessment are absent or insufficient, assessments should always strive to use these data. The use of available 21st century knowledge of biological processes, clinical findings, chemical interactions, and dose-response at the molecular, cellular, organ and organism levels will minimize the need for extrapolation and reliance on default approaches.
    Critical Reviews in Toxicology 07/2013; 43(6):467-492. DOI:10.3109/10408444.2013.807223 · 6.41 Impact Factor