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Lucy Lee

Developing a list of reference chemicals for testing alternatives to whole fish toxicity tests

Aquatic Toxicology 90: 128137
Schirmer K, Tanneberger K, Kramer NI, Volker D, Scholz S, Hafner C, Lee LEJ, Bols NC, Hermens JLM

published: 2008 | Research publication | Recent publications

This paper details the derivation of a list of 60 reference chemicals for the development of alternatives to animal testing in ecotoxicology with a particular focus on fish.  The chemicals were selected as a prerequisite to gather mechanistic information on the performance of alternative testing systems, namely vertebrate cell lines and fish embryos, in comparison to the fish acute lethality test.  To avoid the need for additional experiments with fish, the U.S. EPA fathead minnow data base was consulted as reference for whole organism responses.  This data base was compared to the Halle registry of cytotoxicity and a collation of data by the German EPA (UBA) on acute toxicity data derived from zebrafish embryos.  Chemicals that were present in the fathead minnow data base and in at least one of the other two data bases were subject to selection.  Criteria included the coverage of a wide range of toxicity and physico-chemical parameters as well as the determination of outliers of the in vivo/in vitro correlations.  While the reference list of chemicals now guides our research for improving cell line and fish embryo assays to make them widely applicable, the list could be of benefit to search for alternatives in ecotoxicology in general.  One example would be the use of this list to validate structure-activity prediction models, which in turn would benefit from a continuous extension of this list with regard to physico-chemical and toxicological data.  

Download: PDF (757k)    Schirmer_et_al_aqua_tox08.pdf

revised Nov 3/08

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