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  • 1
  • 2
    Keywords: OPTIMIZATION ; RECEPTOR ; CELLS ; IN-VITRO ; CELL ; COMBINATION ; VITRO ; GENE ; GENES ; BIOLOGY ; ASSAY ; CELL-LINE ; LINE ; NETHERLANDS ; RECEPTORS ; ER ; signaling ; SCIENCE ; methods ; ANDROGEN RECEPTOR ; CHEMICALS ; ANTAGONISTS ; ANDROGEN ; androgens ; in vitro ; reporter gene assay ; RANGE ; ANDROGEN-RECEPTOR ; PANEL ; Prevalidation ; ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS ; REPORTER ; Hershberger assay ; Androgen reporter gene assay ; BIOASSAYS ; HUMAN CELL-LINE
    Abstract: To date there are no validated methods available to test androgenicity or antiandrogenicity in vitro. A problem with testing androgenicity using reporter genes is the possibility by other steroid receptors than androgen receptors to activate the same reporter gene, thereby lowering selectivity. To avoid this we have established a robust and very selective method, the AR CALUX reporter gene assay, to test androgenic and antiandrogenic activity of compounds in vitro. This assay uses a human U2-OS cell line stably transfected with the human androgen receptor and an androgen receptor responsive reporter gene. We optimized protocols to be used in combination with AR CALUX cells and carried out an in house prevalidation. In addition we successfully transferred this assay to another laboratory, leading to comparable test results with a panel of androgen receptor agonists and antagonists. The assay was able to readily rank a range of chemicals on the basis of their EC50 values. The CALUX assay was found to be selective for androgens and seemed not influenced by signaling through other steroid receptors.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20438827
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  • 3
    Abstract: Short-term dynamic culture of rat testicular fragments was evaluated as a model to assess effects on steroidogenesis. A total of 11 compounds differentially affecting testosterone synthesis (aminoglutethimide, ketoconazole, danazol, flutamide, diethylstilbestrol, genistein, butylparaben, nonoxynol-9, dimethoate, RU 486, and cadmium chloride) were used to explore the performance of the assay. Testosterone secretion into the medium and testosterone retained in tissue fragments was determined as a measure of steroidogenesis. Three independent experiments per compound were performed. The known in vitro inhibitory properties of most compounds could be detected. Whenever significant inhibition of testosterone synthesis was observed, low effect concentrations for a given compound differed frequently only by a factor of 〈or=3.3, maximally by a factor of 10 from each other across the three experiments and besides a decrease of testosterone concentrations in the medium, corresponding reduction of testosterone levels in tissue fragment was obtained. On the other hand, despite the use of high concentrations, danazol and genistein were unexpectedly tested negative, and considerable variability of testosterone production within control and treatment groups of individual experiments were frequently observed. In contrast to cellular systems, specific assessment of cytotoxicity to the testosterone producing Leydig cells was not possible, effects requiring prolonged incubation times could be overlooked, and the observed variability of hormone production necessitates a considerable number of individual incubations per treatment group. On the whole, short-term dynamic culture of rat testicular fragments offers limited potential to assess effects on steroidogenesis by compounds of moderate to strong potency that directly interfere with steroidogenic enzymes or rapidly induce cytotoxicity.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19897028
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  • 4
    Abstract: Despite more than a decade of research in the field of endocrine active compounds with affinity for the androgen receptor (AR), still no validated recombinant AR binding assay is available, although recombinant AR can be obtained from several sources. With funding from the European Union (EU)-sponsored 6th framework project, ReProTect, we developed a model protocol for such an assay based on a simple AR binding assay recently developed at our institution. Important features of the protocol were the use of a rat recombinant fusion protein to thioredoxin containing both the hinge region and ligand binding domain (LBD) of the rat AR (which is identical to the human AR-LBD) and performance in a 96-well plate format. Besides two reference compounds [dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androstenedione] ten test compounds with different affinities for the AR [levonorgestrel, progesterone, prochloraz, 17alpha-methyltestosterone, flutamide, norethynodrel, o,p'-DDT, dibutylphthalate, vinclozolin, linuron] were used to explore the performance of the assay. At least three independent experiments per compound were performed. The AR binding properties of reference and test compounds were well detected, in terms of the relative ranking of binding affinities, there was good agreement with published data obtained from experiments using recombinant AR preparations. Irrespective of the chemical nature of the compound, individual IC(50)-values for a given compound varied by not more than a factor of 2.6. Our data demonstrate that the assay reliably ranked compounds with strong, weak, and no/marginal affinity for the AR with high accuracy. It avoids the manipulation and use of animals, as a recombinant protein is used and thus contributes to the 3R concept. On the whole, this assay is a promising candidate for further validation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19833195
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  • 5
    Abstract: The new European chemicals policy for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) will most probably impose a dramatic increase in the number of animals required for reproductive toxicity testing. For this purpose, the development and validation of alternative methods is urgently needed in order to reduce the use of laboratory animals. The present study describes the inter-laboratory variability and the transferability assessment of an in vitro test able to identify chemical effects during the process of oocyte maturation in a bovine model. The test was developed/optimised within ReProTect, an integrated research project funded by the European Union, joining together 35 partners with complementary expertise in reproductive toxicology. Eight chemicals with well-known toxic properties were tested (benzo[a]pyrene, busulfan, cadmium chloride, cycloheximide, diethylstilbestrol, ketoconazole, methylacetoacetate, mifepristone/RU-486 and DMSO as solvent) on the in vitro maturation (IVM) assay in two well-trained laboratories using the established Standard Operating Procedures. The statistical analysis demonstrated the concordance of results across the laboratories and the reproducibility of the test. We therefore conclude that the IVM test could advance toward the process of validation as alternative in vitro method that, in combination with additional in vitro tests, can become part of an integrated testing strategy in order to predict chemical hazards on mammalian fertility.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20156549
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  • 6
    Abstract: Despite more than a decade of research in the field of endocrine active compounds targeting the androgen receptor (AR), and although suitable cell lines can be obtained, no validated human stably transfected androgen sensitive transactivation assay is available. Bayer Schering Pharma (BSP) and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), partners within the EU-sponsored 6th framework project ReProTect, made first steps towards such a validation. A standard operation protocol (SOP) developed at BSP based on the androgen sensitive PALM cell line was transferred to VITO and its performance and transferability were thoroughly studied. The investigation followed a generic protocol prepared for all reporter gene assays evaluated within ReProTect, and in both laboratories at least three independent experiments were performed. The highest concentration to be tested was limited to 10 microM, if needed. A few compounds, 17alpha-methyltestosterone (17alpha-MT), vinclozolin and linuron, were studied using a real world scenario, i.e., assuming that their interaction with the AR was not known: A prescreening for agonism and true, competitive antagonism was used to select conditions such as the appropriate mode of action, and the working range excluding cytotoxicity for the final screening. All other compounds were tested according to the generic protocol: Compounds screened for agonism were the reference androgen 17alpha-methyldihydrotestosterone (MDHT), levonorgestrel, norethynodrel, progesterone, o,p'-DDT, and dibutylphthalate (DBP), while compounds screened for antagonism were the reference anti-androgen flutamide, prochloraz, o,p'-DDT, progesterone, norethynodrel, and DBP. Cytotoxicity was assessed in parallel as lactate dehydrogenase release. The prescreen classified 17alpha-MT as androgenic, vinclozolin and linuron as anti-androgenic and compounds were tested accordingly. In the absence of cytotoxicity, appropriate androgenic properties of reference and test compounds were detected by both laboratories, o,p'-DDT and DBP had no androgenic activity. Across the two laboratories EC(50)-values for MDHT, 17alpha-MT, and levonorgestrel varied by not more than a factor of 3.4, for norethynodrel by a factor of 9.7. Progesterone effects could not fully be evaluated, as frequently concentration response curves were incomplete. In the absence of cytotoxicity anti-androgenic properties of reference and test compounds were also detected in both laboratories. DBP, the putative negative reference compound, was inactive, norethynodrel rather showed agonistic properties. Progesterone was an antagonist at low concentrations, but agonistic properties were observed in one laboratory at high concentrations. Since the highest test concentration was limited to 10 microM, for some compounds no complete concentration response curves were obtained and estimation of EC(50)-values was less robust. Our data demonstrated that the SOP was transferable, and that the assay was able to rank compounds with strong, weak, and without affinity for the AR and to discriminate agonists and antagonists. The sensitivity of the assay could be improved further, if the limit of solubility or beginning cytotoxicity was chosen as the highest test concentration. The assay avoids the use of tissues from laboratory animals, and thus contributes to the 3R concept. Furthermore, it could be adjusted to an intermediate/high throughput format. On the whole, this PALM assay is a promising candidate for further validation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19836445
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  • 7
    Keywords: RECEPTOR ; CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; IN-VITRO ; CELL ; Germany ; VITRO ; RISK ; GENE ; PROTEIN ; transcription ; BIOLOGY ; ACID ; TARGET ; ASSAY ; UP-REGULATION ; IMPLANTATION ; LINE ; PCR ; CANCER-CELLS ; EMBRYO ; adenocarcinoma ; mifepristone ; ESTRADIOL ; ENDOMETRIAL ; SCIENCE ; CHEMICALS ; progesterone receptor ; EMBRYO IMPLANTATION ; endometrium ; in vitro ; reporter gene assay ; dose response ; Dose-response relationship ; ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS ; ESTROGENIC ACTIVITIES ; Gene expression biomarker ; REPORTER ; RT-qPCR ; UTERUS ; Xenoestrogens
    Abstract: The human endometrium is a fertility-determining factor. Its receptivity during the implantation window may be altered by chemicals. Since human embryo implantation is unique chemical risk assessment cannot be based solely on animal studies. We established a tissue-specific in vitro test based on human endometrial adenocarcinoma (Ishikawa) cells. Progesterone receptor (PR) was selected as primary target gene for estrogenic effects. Changes of mRNA levels were investigated by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR. Sigmoidal dose-response curves for up-regulation of PR mRNA and EC(50) values were established for 17beta-estradiol, diethylstilbestrol and the weak xenoestrogen bisphenol A. Nonylphenol also had a clear PR mRNA up-regulating effect. Several other chemicals were characterized as negative compounds. Among them was methoxyacetic acid which may produce false positive results in reporter gene assays. Up-regulation of PR protein by 17beta-estradiol, diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A and nonylphenol was confirmed by Western Blotting.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20172022
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  • 8
    Abstract: As a part of EU-project ReProTect, a comparison of the dual re-circulating human placental perfusion system was carried out, by two independent research groups. The detailed placental transfer data of model compounds [antipyrine, benzo(a)pyrene, PhIP (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine) and IQ (2-amino-3-methylimidazo(4,5-f)quinoline] has been/will be published separately. For this project, a comparative re-analysis was done, by curve fitting the data and calculating two endpoints: AUC(120), defined as the area under the curve between time 0 and time 120 min and as t(0.5), defined as the time when the fetal to maternal concentration ratio is expected to be 0.5. The transport of the compounds from maternal to fetal circulation across the perfused placenta could be ranked in the order of antipyrine〉IQ〉PhIP in terms of both t(0.5) and AUC(120) by both partners. For benzo(a)pyrene the curve fitting failed. These prevalidation results give confidence for harmonization of the placental perfusion system to be used as one of the test methods in a panel for reproductive toxicology to model placental transfer in humans.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20434538
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  • 9
    Keywords: IN-VITRO ; Germany ; IN-VIVO ; TOXICITY ; VITRO ; VIVO ; BIOLOGY ; TRIAL ; ASSAY ; PREDICTION ; in vitro tests ; FUTURE ; PROJECT ; SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RATS ; PROGRAM ; FRAMEWORK ; WEIGHT ; SCIENCE ; development ; methods ; PROFILES ; ANDROGEN RECEPTOR ; in vivo ; CHEMICALS ; in vitro assay ; PROFILE ; BREAST-CANCER CELLS ; FERTILITY ; in vitro ; DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY ; Alternative methods ; Reproductive toxicology ; ReProTect ; Alternative reproductive toxicity testing ; CONGENITAL DIAPHRAGMATIC-HERNIA ; DIETARY BISPHENOL-A ; Embryotoxicity ; Endocrine disruption ; ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR VINCLOZOLIN ; ETHYLENE-GLYCOL MONOMETHYL ; GLUFOSINATE-AMMONIUM ; Hershberger assay ; Ring trial
    Abstract: ReProTect is a project within the 6th European Framework Program which has developed alternative methods aimed to reduce or replace animal experimentation in the field of reproductive toxicology. In its final year, a ring trial, named the "Feasibility Study", was conducted, in which 10 blinded chemicals with toxicologically well-documented profiles were analyzed by employing a test battery of 14 in vitro assays. EC(50) (half maximal effective concentration) or equivalent endpoints were determined and the test compounds were ranked relative to chemicals previously assayed in the tests of the battery. This comparative analysis together with a weight of evidence approach allowed a robust prediction of adverse effects on fertility and embryonic development of the 10 test chemicals in vivo. In summary, the vast majority of the predictions made based on the in vitro results turned out to be correct when compared to the whole animal data. The procedure used here, a nearest neighbor analysis coupled with a weight of evidence approach, may guide future activities in the field of alternative toxicity testing.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20493943
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  • 10
    Keywords: CELLS ; IN-VITRO ; CELL ; Germany ; INHIBITION ; PATHWAY ; SYSTEM ; GENE ; DRUG ; MICE ; ACTIVATION ; BIOLOGY ; ACID ; MOUSE ; ASSAY ; METABOLIC-ACTIVATION ; SIGNALING PATHWAY ; beta-catenin ; CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE ; WNT ; RETINOIC ACID ; signaling ; DEFECTS ; SCIENCE ; development ; high throughput ; HIGH-THROUGHPUT ; HISTONE DEACETYLASES ; DRUGS ; WNT pathway ; CHEMICALS ; Wnt signaling ; valproic acid ; STEM ; in vitro assay ; Alternative methods ; REPORTER ; Embryotoxicity ; Mouse embryonic stem cells
    Abstract: A stem cell-based reporter assay was developed to detect drug-induced alterations in the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, which is involved in the regulation of early embryonic development. The so-called ReProGlo assay allows simultaneous determination of cell viability and luciferase reporter activity in a high throughput 96-well microtiter format. A clone of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells stably expressing the SuperTopFlash reporter was established. This allows Wnt pathway activity determinations in undifferentiated mES cells and their differentiated descendants. Several test chemicals were analyzed in the new assay system. Known embryotoxicants like retinoic acid or lithium chloride induced concentration-dependent increases in reporter activity. The potency of valproic acid and a series of structural analogs to activate the Wnt pathway correlated well with their reported teratogenic activity in the mouse. Cyclophosphamide was also active but only after metabolic activation by hepatocytes. The new test may help to predict embryotoxic potential of chemicals.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20018237
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