Skip to main content

Metabolomics ‘viable for grouping’

A consortium of scientists has published what it calls “a more robust way of grouping chemicals and using read-across for toxicological data to meet regulatory requirements”, based on the use of metabolomics. This could greatly reduce animal testing, they added.

“Instead of only measuring the structural similarity of the chemicals to form groups, we have found that by using metabolomics to measure the biological responses of the chemicals, we can make the grouping and read-across more reliable,” said Professor Mark Viant (pictured) of the University of Birmingham, which led the ‘Matching’ consortium.

Also in the consortium were BASF, BASF Metabolome Solutions, ECHA, Imperial College London, Syngenta, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the US EPA. It was funded via CEFIC’s Long-Range Research Initiative (LRI).

Six laboratories examined common plasma samples from rats that had been tested with eight chemicals. The teams did not know what the chemicals were. Using metabolomics, they were able to measure thousands of markers like amino acids and lipids, using mass spectrometry, and group them. ECHA compiled the results and found that the five labs whose data passed quality control all discovered the same grouping.

This is the first time that the use of metabolomics for grouping has been proven to be a reproducible method. Katherine Santizo from Cefic-LRI described it as “a massive step forward” that shows metabolomics to be a reliable method. It could help rat testing to be phased out and improve toxicity testing, since rats are not a good model for humans and the reproducibility of rat testing is not very good, Viant added.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.