Animal testing is done to study the toxicological
risk of chemicals for use by humans. Researchers have demonstrated the ability to use two new mechanistic
models called Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) - one for decreased lung
function and the other for hypertension - to assess the toxicological
risk of chemicals without the need for animal testing.
The novel AOPs,
developed jointly by scientists at British American Tobacco and Philip
Morris International, received an award from the PETA International
Science Consortium for contributing to non-animal approaches to
predicting adverse health effects.
‘The ability to use two new mechanistic models to assess the toxicological risk of chemicals without the need for animal testing has been demonstrated by researchers.’
The studies are published today in Applied In Vitro Toxicology
a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
The articles are part of a special issue on Next Generation Nicotine
Products and are available open access on the Applied In Vitro Toxicology
Marianna Gaça and colleagues from British American Tobacco and
Philip Morris coauthored the article entitled "Development of an Adverse
Outcome Pathway for the Onset of Hypertension by Oxidative
Stress-Mediated Perturbation of Endothelial Nitric Oxide
The AOP presented here describes how airborne toxic
chemical exposure can increase oxidative stress in the lining of blood
vessels, disrupting nitric oxide bioavailability and resulting in
impaired vasodilation that leads to the development of hypertension.
researchers propose that this AOP could be a useful tool for evaluating
the harm reduction potential of e-cigarettes compared to conventional
tobacco products and other consumer products, with the goal of reducing
cardiovascular disease risk.
The article entitled "The Adverse Outcome Pathway for Oxidative
Stress-Mediated EGFR Activation Leading to Decreased Lung Function" is
coauthored by Karsta Luettich and colleagues from Philip Morris Products
SA (Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and British American Tobacco (Investments)
Ltd (Southampton, U.K.).
The researchers developed an AOP that links
exposure to toxic chemicals present, for example, in cigarette smoke and
air pollutants, to the molecular, cellular, and organ-level key events
that can lead to oxidative stress-mediated activation of epidermal
growth factor receptor in the airway epithelium, leading to decreased
The award from PETA International Science Consortium Ltd recognized
these scientists for their contributions to the AOP Wiki, a publicly
available knowledge base and online encyclopedia created by the European
Commission's DG Joint Research Center (JRC), the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD).
"The use of adverse outcome pathways is a means by which
mechanism-based in vitro assays and models can be developed to rapidly
and accurately evaluate chemical risk without the use of animals. It is
exciting to see good work recognized," says Jim McKim, Editor-in-Chief of Applied In Vitro Toxicology
and Founder and CEO, IonTox, LLC.