on November 18, 2006
Sens-it-iv is a European 6th Framework project whose overall aim is to develop strategies gies to replace animal experimentation by in vitro assays identifying skin and respiratory sensitizers in relation with the use of safe ingredients by the chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. The ultimate deliverables of the project are in vitro tests and test strategies allowing the testing of the sensitizing potency of existing and new chemical entities produced by European industries, for classification and labeling as required by the new EU legislation on chemicals, and for the purpose of risk assessment as required by the 7th amendment to the Cosmetic Directive. The scientific objectives of Sens-it-iv are to acquire a solid understanding of the processes occurring in vivo when tissue is challenged by a potential sensitizer.
Sens-it-iv aims to develop assay systems that model sensitization, rather than irritation and toxicity of chemicals and proteins. In October, all participants met in Hannover to present the progress obtained during the first year. When developing cell-based test systems, a good understanding of what is happening in the entire body (in vivo studies) and the mechanisms that are responsible (in vivo mechanisms) is a prerequisite for success. In order to obtain this understanding a tech nology, called precision cut lung slices (PCLS), was implemented.This technique makes it possible to address cellular and functional responses to hazardous compounds for example. To date we can announce that the techno logy is being prepared for transfer to human lung slices and that this transfer will be com pleted by June 2007. While waiting for the in vivo data Sens- it-iv has embarked on the establishment of catalogues for available epithelial cell lines, primary dendritic cells and cell lines and primary T-cells, which are the main players in sensitisation and allergy development. Simultaneously, catalogues for cell culture conditions affecting these cells in vitro are being established.This information is stored in a central repository for Sens-it-iv data. According to the time plan (September 2008), these catalogues should be substantial enough to allow selection and evaluation of the most in vivo like cell types, as well as the cell culture conditions sustaining these cells in vitro, by comparison with the in vivo human counterparts as identified by PCLS. Among the promising outcomes of the first 12 months of Sens-it-iv was a set of tests performing well on a learning panel of compounds including skin and respiratory sensitizers.Three of these tests were selected for inclusion into an ongoing COLIPA ring trial study for further evaluation. For more info: http://www.sens-it-iv.eu