Male thyroid anatomy

Paper encouraging non-animal approaches to metabolism wins award

Among the awards bestowed at the 9th World Congress for Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in August, a paper co-authored by consortium director Catherine Willett was named the journal ALTEX’s “Best ALTEX article of 2013.”

In vitro Metabolism and Bioavailability Tests for Endocrine Active Substances: What is Needed Next for Regulatory Purposes?” by Miriam N. Jacobs, Susan C. Laws, Kate Willett, Pat Schmieder, Jenny Odum, and Toine F. Bovee, revisits and expands on recommendations put forth in a 2008 OECD review paper that argued for the assessment of human metabolism in in vitro assays used to screen endocrine-active substances.  Although that earlier paper showed that many of the necessary screening tools were already available, little progress has been made by the European, US, or Japanese validation agencies toward validating such methods for use in a regulatory context.  In the ALTEX paper, Jacobs et al. outline a series of projects designed to accelerate validation, continue to expand the number of available metabolism-enhanced screening assays, and improve and expand predictive tools.

 

alternative toxicity testing AOPs OECD Publications
AOP-KB

OECD launches the AOP Knowledge Base

The OECD, along with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, today announced the public release of the Adverse Outcome Pathway Knowledge Base.  The web-based platform is designed to consolidate all existing information on the mechanisms and pathways through which chemicals can cause or contribute to adverse effects.  The first available module is the AOP Wiki, an online, interactive encyclopedia for AOP development.  From the OECD press release:

“All stakeholders from academia, governmental agencies and the chemical industry are invited to use the wiki either as a source of information, or as active contributors posting comments and content. This expert contribution from third-parties is strongly encouraged since it is through such “crowd sourcing” that the AOP KB will ultimately evolve.”

At the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in Phoenix earlier this year, HTPC co-sponsored several AOP Knowledge Base “Stakeholder Input Sessions” designed to gather ideas from potential users about the features and information they would find most essential in these tools.  That process is ongoing.  As noted in the OECD press release,

“By opting for this early public release, the OECD aims to familiarise interested parties with AOP concepts and terminology through interaction with the AOP Wiki, with the hope of engaging as many potential AOP developers and contributors as possible.”

The AOP Knowledge Base is a key component of the comprehensive AOP Development Program launched by the OECD in 2012.

AOPs EPA OECD
Nicole Kleinstreuer (ILS, Inc./NICEATM)

Another successful “AOPs 101″ session

Anne Gourlemon (OECD)

Anne Gourlemon (OECD)

On Sunday, August 24 – just ahead of the 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (“WC9″) in Prague – the HTPC and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) co-sponsored an “AOPs 101″ session.  Like the sessions offered at SOT earlier this year, this one was designed to introduce the Adverse Outcome Pathway concept to scientists who want to learn more about it, including how to apply it in their own work.

The session opened with an overview and introduction by Catherine Willett (HTPC).  Anne Gourmelon presented on the OECD’s AOP program.  Kristie Sullivan (PCRM) gave an introduction to the AOP Wiki, and Hristo Aladjov (OECD) introduced Effectopedia.  These overview talks were followed by two case study presentations: Joanna Jaworska (Procter & Gamble) described the use of AOPs in a Bayesian network ITS framework to assess skin sensitization, and Nicole Kleinstreuer (ILS, Inc./NICEATM) described the construction of AOPs for developmental toxicities.  The talks generated excellent follow-up questions and discussion.

Nicole Kleinstreuer (ILS, Inc./NICEATM)

Nicole Kleinstreuer (ILS, Inc./NICEATM)

Kristie Sullivan (PCRM)

Kristie Sullivan (PCRM)

9th World Congress on Alternatives AOPs Meetings & Events
Stare-Mesto-Prague-creative-commons-e1383206240634

AOP workshop in Prague

At the 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, the HTPC – along with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – will co-sponsor an introductory workshop on Adverse Outcome Pathways, “AOPs 101: The How and Why of Development and Use,” on August 24, 2014 from 10 AM to 12 PM at Riverdance + Hibernia Conference Halls, Jurys Inn (next to the WC9 venue).

The curriculum will compliment several presentations on AOPs at the World Congress, and is intended for those scientists who are not yet familiar with the AOP concept but would like to learn to apply it to their own work, or would like to become involved in ongoing projects. An overview of “what, why, and how” will be given according to the latest existing international guidance, and experts will present case studies demonstrating AOP development and application.

A draft agenda is available here.

9th World Congress on Alternatives AOPs Meetings & Events slideshow

AOP chapter in newly published “Encyclopedia of Toxicology”

AOP diagram“Adverse Outcome Pathways: Development and Use in Toxicology,” a chapter in Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Toxicology (3rd edition) written by HSUS/HTPC’s Dr. Catherine Willett, introduces readers to the concept of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) and explains how they can improve the efficiency and accuracy of toxicity testing while reducing the use of animals.  Dr. Willett’s chapter discusses how to construct an AOP, explores possible regulatory uses, and includes descriptions of two AOPs currently under development by the international research community.

AOPs Publications

Successful “AOPs 101″ ancillary workshop at SOT 2014

AOPs 101: the How and Why of Development and Use,” the ancillary program co-sponsored and organized by HTPC and ASCCT, was a perfect fit for this year’s SOT conference.  With an unprecedented number of Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP)-related sessions and symposia on the 2014 Scientific Program, the workshop’s aim to introduce AOP fundamentals to scientists not yet familiar with the concept was successful: the 60 or so attendees asked many insightful questions and were clearly appreciative in comments following the presentations.  Program presentations covering the fundamentals of AOP construction and potential applications, as well as summaries of three case studies of AOPs currently or recently under development, are available below:

Kristie Sullivan – What are AOPs?

Catherine Willett – Why are AOPs important, and how can they be useful?

Terry Schultz – AOPs: Getting Started

Nicole Kleinstreuer – Constructing AOPs for Developmental Toxicities

Grace Patlewicz – Development of an AOP for Skin Sensitization and Practical Applications (slides here)

Mathieu Vinkin – Development and Use of Hepatic AOPs in the SEURAT Project Cluster

AOPs Meetings & Events