NTP reduces animal use, one assay at a time — skin sensitization testing
Researchers working with the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Methods have advanced the integration of nonanimal models to predict chemical skin sensitization. Skin sensitization testing is currently the most common use of animals in chemical safety assessment, and these new approaches will help eliminate animal use.
The integrated decision strategy combines various data that represent key events in skin sensitization to increase the predictive power of nonanimal methods. The researchers used a database of 120 chemicals to train and evaluate six computer models, each with six sets of variables, to optimize accuracy of predictions while minimizing inputs. The variables included in vitro assays, in silico modeling, and chemical properties. Model accuracy was determined based on results in the in vivo local lymph node assay, a gold standard for skin sensitization testing.
Using this approach, the researchers identified seven models for predicting skin sensitization that have higher accuracy than currently recommended nonanimal test methods. This approach advances the use of nonanimal models in identifying skin sensitization hazards, but additional work is needed to address chemical potency, which is crucial for use in risk assessment activities. (GR)
Citation: Strickland J, Zang Q, Kleinstreuer N, Paris M, Lehmann DM, Choksi N, Matheson J, Jacobs A, Lowit A, Allen D, Casey W. 2016. Integrated decision strategies for skin sensitization hazard. J Appl Toxicol 36(9):1150–1162.