Prediction of skin sensitizers using alternative methods to animal experimentation.

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2014 Jul;115(1):110-7. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.12199. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Johansson H., Lindstedt M.


Regulatory frameworks within the European Union demand that chemical substances are investigated for their ability to induce sensitization, an adverse health effect caused by the human immune system in response to chemical exposure. A recent ban on the use of animal tests within the cosmetics industry has led to an urgent need for alternative animal-free test methods that can be used for assessment of chemical sensitizers. To date, no such alternative assay has yet completed formal validation. However, a number of assays are in development and the understanding of the biological mechanisms of chemical sensitization has greatly increased during the last decade. In this MiniReview, we aim to summarize and give our view on the recent progress of method development for alternative assessment of chemical sensitizers. We propose that integrated testing strategies should comprise complementary assays, providing measurements of a wide range of mechanistic events, to perform well-educated risk assessments based on weight of evidence.