Developmental toxicity testing from animal towards embryonic stem cells

Cristian Pellizzer, Susanne Bremer, Thomas Hartung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Developmental toxicology is the study of undesirable effects on the development of the organism, which may result from exposure before conception, from the period of prenatal development, or postnatally during the time of sexual maturation. The principal manifestations of developmental toxicity include: embryolethality, malformations, growth retardation, and functional impairment. In 2001, the European Commission published the future chemicals policy entitled "White Paper: Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy". The new regulation requires a toxicological evaluation with strong emphasis on reproductive toxicity, by using in vitro methods, especially for those chemicals marketed at more than 1 ton per year. For this reason, the establishment of in vitro models capable of detecting major undesirable manifestations in the fetus, are urgently required. The aim of the present review is to explore the capacity of existing in vitro systems, based on embryonic stem (ES) cells, to identify embryotoxicity with a focus on specific effects such as teratogenicity and growth retardation. In addition, we discuss the possibility to adapt the mouse ES cells based tests to human ES cells, avoiding inter-species variations in developmental toxicity studies and address related ethical issues. Considering the different manifestations of developmental toxicity, only a battery of in vitro tests will provide the necessary information for regulatory developmental toxicity assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalAltex
Volume22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Alternatives to animals experiments
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Growth retardation
  • Malformations
  • Teratogenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this