Primer towards an in vitro test for screening irritant potency of compounds
Opstap naar een in vitro test voor het screenen van de irriterende potentie van stoffen
Vandebriel RJ, Machielsen A, Bakker K, van Loveren H
RIVM Report 640040001
Testing for allergenic potency of compounds is often performed using the Buehler occluded patch test and the guinea pig maximization test, while screening is performed using the auricular lymph node assay. Much information on allergenic potency has been obtained from these tests. Considerable progress has been made in unraveling the mechanisms of skin sensitization, including effects on the production of cytokines and mediators, and expression of adhesion molecules. This knowledge may open the way to in vitro testing for allergenic potency. Reduction of animal use is the rationale behind this way of testing. A possible additional advantage of this type of testing is the possibility to use cells from human origin. It has been suggested that irritant capacity of allergens may present an additional risk factor in that irritant allergens may be stronger allergens than non-irritant ones. Therefore, in the present study the irritant potency of oxazolone, a strong sensitizer, benzocaine, a weak sensitizer, and glycerol, a non-sensitizing compound, is investigated. Although we were able to detect irritant potency, we were unsuccessful in discriminating irritant potency between oxazolone and benzocaine. Too high exposure concentrations may be a cause for this result. Glycerol could be discriminated from oxazolone and benzocaine.