Young scientists from JRC's EURL ECVAM at the second SEURAT-1 Summer School
|Jul 01, 2014|
|Contact: EURL ECVAM|
Discussion of recent research activities aimed at replacing in vivo repeated-dose systemic toxicity testing
The second SEURAT-1 Summer School, held in Egmond-aan-Zee (NL) on 8-10 June 2014, was dedicated to young scientists and organised, in collaboration with ESTIV (European Society of Toxicology In Vitro), as a satellite meeting of ESTIV2014 (the 18th International Congress on in vitro Toxicology).
Within the SEURAT-1 cluster, EURL ECVAM (the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing, hosted by the European Commission Joint Research Centre) is heavily involved in three of the five complementary research projects as well as in the COACH project, which ensures coordination of the entire cluster.
The objective of the SEURAT-1 Summer School was to spread the knowledge from the SEURAT-1 related research domains w ithin and beyond the cluster. It provided an opportunity for the young researchers to meet their colleagues from the other research groups, present and discuss their work and also to follow mostly practical courses given by eminent experts. This year, the participants had also the unique opportunity to meet the experts attending the ESTIV conference and other satellite meetings and get high visibility for their posters. This training event contributed in creating synergies and strengthening the collaboration within the cluster and with external related initiatives.
Several presentations given at the event are now available on the SEURAT-1 web site.
Here below some details of the inputs provided by EURL ECVAM's scientists:
- A. Paini gave a lecture/course on PBK (physiologically-based kinetic) modelling for beginners. The course described how a PBK model can be built and showed examples of the PBK models built within the SEURAT-1's COSMOS cluster as well as an overview of the KNIME workflows currently developed within the JRC's IHCP. During the poster session A. Paini presented a poster entitled: "The Virtual Cell Based Model – simulating the fate and effects of chemicals in multiple cell systems".
- J. Louisse presented a poster entitled "Increased cytosolic calcium as measure for cardiotoxicity of anthracyclines" on JRC's most recent work for the SEURAT-1's DETECTIVE project, related to biomarker identification and evaluation for cardiotoxicity.
- T. Horvat presented a poster regarding the SEURAT-1 case study on "Mode of Action-based classification model for repeated dose liver toxicity". Major points discussed at the poster included the experimental setup (choice of endpoints and exposure scheme) as well as the cell type model used. Various groups from the field are putting efforts into producing models that might recreate the in-vivo conditions operating in the liver.
- A. Lostia presented, in the plenary session, a communication on "Toxicity Prediction based on MoA knowledge". He discussed how the mechanistic understanding (Mode of Action) of a certain adverse outcome can be used to develop alternative toxicity tests (non animal-based) and strategies to be used for toxicity prediction, also providing two examples of activities run by the JRC's IHCP. In the first example he explained how the MoA knowledge can be used to support and strength the development of chemical categories for toxicity prediction. He also presented the preliminary results of a JRC-IHCP project focused on the development of a MoA-based chemical category to support the weight of evidence approach to identification of Endocrine Disruptors chemicals. In the second example, he presented the JRC predictive toxicity study "A Mode of Action classification model for repeated dose liver toxicity" run in the context of SEURAT-1.
- D. Zagoura presented a poster regarding the SEURAT-1 ScrTox project's goals, entitled: "Development of a pluripotent stem cell derived neuronal model to study chemically-induced neurotoxicity: the example of CREB signaling pathway and further application of the cellular model into Nrf2 pathway". A discussion followed on possible future endpoints according to the evaluation of the relevance of the Nrf2 pathway as a general toxicity pathway with participants from the University of Leipzig and the University of Bonn.
The JRC's EURL ECVAM involvement in SEURAT-1 includes research activities in the following areas: development and standardisation of reliable stem cell differentiation protocols; computational prediction tools for determining the fate of a chemical within the body after exposure, and for modelling the reaction of cells to a toxic insult; discovery of new biomarkers at the molecular and cellular level for detecting early toxicological events; high throughput robotic testing to generate high quality datasets using novel in vitro assays; selection of reference chemicals with known toxicological profiles for use in test system development and evaluation; and extension of TTC (Thresholds of Toxicological Concern) safety assessment frameworks to include cosmetic ingredients. The JRC-IHCP is also at the centre of the coordination efforts of the entire cluster, exploiting its considerable experience in the alternatives area to help formulate and implement the SEURAT-1 research strategy, and to facilitate synergies between projects and partners to maximise the impact of collective effort.