Predictive Model of Rat Reproductive Toxicity from ToxCast High Throughput Screening

National Center for Computational Toxicology, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA.
Biology of Reproduction (Impact Factor: 3.45). 05/2011; 85(2):327-39. DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.111.090977
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ToxCast research program uses high throughput screening (HTS) for profiling bioactivity and predicting the toxicity of large numbers of chemicals. ToxCast Phase I tested 309 well-characterized chemicals in more than 500 assays for a wide range of molecular targets and cellular responses. Of the 309 environmental chemicals in Phase I, 256 were linked to high-quality rat multigeneration reproductive toxicity studies in the relational Toxicity Reference Database. Reproductive toxicants were defined here as having achieved a reproductive lowest-observed-adverse-effect level of less than 500 mg kg(-1) day(-1). Eight-six chemicals were identified as reproductive toxicants in the rat, and 68 of those had sufficient in vitro bioactivity to model. Each assay was assessed for univariate association with the identified reproductive toxicants. Significantly associated assays were linked to gene sets and used for the subsequent predictive modeling. Using linear discriminant analysis and fivefold cross-validation, a robust and stable predictive model was produced capable of identifying rodent reproductive toxicants with 77% ± 2% and 74% ± 5% (mean ± SEM) training and test cross-validation balanced accuracies, respectively. With a 21-chemical external validation set, the model was 76% accurate, further indicating the model's potential for prioritizing the many thousands of environmental chemicals with little to no hazard information. The biological features of the model include steroidal and nonsteroidal nuclear receptors, cytochrome P450 enzyme inhibition, G protein-coupled receptors, and cell signaling pathway readouts-mechanistic information suggesting additional targeted, integrated testing strategies and potential applications of in vitro HTS to risk assessment.

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