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New test for skin sensitization without using animals

Date:
March 27, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In an advance in efforts to reduce the use of animals in testing new cosmetic and other product ingredients for skin allergies, scientists are describing a new, highly accurate non-animal test for these skin-sensitizers.

Allergy testing of new cosmetics and other skin-care products may be done with a highly accurate new test that does not involve animals.
Credit: iStockphoto

In an advance in efforts to reduce the use of animals in testing new cosmetic and other product ingredients for skin allergies, scientists are describing a new, highly accurate non-animal test for these skin-sensitizers.

Their study appears in ACS' journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Bruno Miguel Neves and colleagues explain that concerns about the ethics and costs of animal-based tests for skin sensitizers, plus regulations in the European Union, are fostering a search for alternative tests. Testing product ingredients prior to marketing is important, because allergic contact dermatitis is the most prevalent form of immunotoxicity in humans.

The scientists describe development of a cell-based alternative test that enlists genes and signaling pathways in mouse skin cells growing in the laboratory. Exposure to skin sensitizers triggers characteristic responses, activating genes and making cells release substances that communicate with adjacent cells. Evaluation of the test on 18 compounds showed that it had a sensitivity of 92 percent in correctly identifying actual sensitizers. It had a specificity of 100 percent and did not produce any false positive results -- indicating that a substance caused sensitization when, in fact, it did not. The approach could be "extremely valuable" in revealing the interaction of skin cells with sensitizers, the scientists say.

The authors acknowledge funding from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Fundo Comunitário Europeu (FEDER) and Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade (COMPETE).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruno Miguel Neves, Susana Carvalho Rosa, João Demétrio Martins, Ana Silva, Margarida Gonçalo, Maria Celeste Lopes, Maria Teresa Cruz. Development of an in Vitro Dendritic Cell-Based Test for Skin Sensitizer Identification. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2013; 26 (3): 368 DOI: 10.1021/tx300472d

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New test for skin sensitization without using animals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327133705.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, March 27). New test for skin sensitization without using animals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327133705.htm
American Chemical Society. "New test for skin sensitization without using animals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327133705.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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