Development of anin vitrotest battery for assessing chemical effects on bovine germ cells under the ReProTect umbrella

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Abstract

Current European legislation for the registration and authorisation of chemicals (REACH) will require a dramatic increase in the use of animals for reproductive toxicity testing. Since one objective of REACH is to use vertebrates only as last resort, the development and validation of alternative methods is urgently needed. For this purpose ReProTect, an integrated research project funded by the European Union, joining together 33 partners with complementary expertise in reproductive toxicology, was designed. The study presented here describes a battery of two tests developed within ReProTect. The objective of these tests is the detection of chemical effects during the processes of oocyte maturation and fertilisation in a bovine model. The corresponding toxicological endpoints are the reaching of metaphase II and the formation of the pronuclei respectively. Fifteen chemicals have been tested (Benzo[a]pyrene, Busulfan, Butylparaben, Cadmium Chloride, Carbendazim, Cycloheximide, Diethylstilbestrol, Genistein, Ionomycin, Ketoconazole, Lindane, Methylacetoacetate, Mifepristone, Nocodazole and DMSO as solvent) demonstrating high intra-laboratory reproducibility of the tests. Furthermore, the responses obtained in both tests, for several substances, had a good correlation with the available in vivo and in vitro data. These tests therefore, could predictably become part of an integrated testing strategy that combines the bovine models with additional in vitro tests, in order to predict chemical hazards on mammalian fertility.

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