Use of non-mammalian alternative models for neurotoxicological study.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
NeuroToxicology (Impact Factor: 3.05). 06/2008; 29(3):546-55.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The field of neurotoxicology needs to satisfy two opposing demands: the testing of a growing list of chemicals, and resource limitations and ethical concerns associated with testing using traditional mammalian species. National and international government agencies have defined a need to reduce, refine or replace mammalian species in toxicological testing with alternative testing methods and non-mammalian models. Toxicological assays using alternative animal models may relieve some of this pressure by allowing testing of more compounds while reducing expense and using fewer mammals. Recent advances in genetic technologies and the strong conservation between human and non-mammalian genomes allow for the dissection of the molecular pathways involved in neurotoxicological responses and neurological diseases using genetically tractable organisms. In this review, applications of four non-mammalian species, zebrafish, cockroach, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans, in the investigation of neurotoxicology and neurological diseases are presented.

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