Exploration of the GARDskin applicability domain: Indirectly acting haptens, hydrophobic substances and UVCBs

Joint publication with the Lubrizol Corporation

ALTEX – Alternatives to animal experimentation, published April 21, 2022, accepted manuscript, https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2201281

Forreryd, A., Gradin, R., Humfrey, C., Sweet, L. and Johansson, H.


Hazard assessments of skin sensitizers are increasingly being performed using new approach methodologies (NAMs), with several in chemico, in vitro and most recently also defined approaches (DAs) being accepted for regulatory use. However, keeping track of potential limitations of each method in order to define applicability domains remains a crucial component to ensure adequate predictivity as well as facilitating the appropriate selection of method(s) for each hazard assessment task. The objective of this report is to share test results generated with the GARD™skin assay on chemicals that have traditionally been considered as difficult to test in some of the conventional in vitro and in chemico OECD Test Guidelines for skin sensitization. Such compounds may include, for example, indirectly acting haptens, hydrophobic substances, and substances of unknown variable composition or biological substances (UVCBs). Based on the results of this study, the sensitivity for prediction of skin sensitizing hazard of indirectly acting haptenswas92.4%and 87.5%, when compared with LLNA(n=25)and human data(n=8), respectively. Similarly, the sensitivity for prediction of skin sensitizing hazard of hydrophobic substances was 85.1% and 100%, when compared with LLNA(n=24)and human data(n=9), respectively. Lastly, a case study involving the assessment of a set of hydrophobic UVCBs(n=7) resulted in a sensitivity of 100, as compared to available reference data. Thus, it was concluded that these data provide support for the inclusion of such chemistries in the GARD™skin applicability domain, without an increased risk of false negative classifications.

Key words: GARD, GARDskin, skin sensitization, applicability domain, difficult to test substances, Indirectly acting haptens, hydrophobic substances, UVCBs


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