In Vitro Developmental Toxicity Assays
The development and applications of in vitro systems for safety evaluation and environmental risk studies on chemicals (i.e., toxicity testing) have been, in large part, limited to the field of genetic toxicology. Recent advances in molecular and cellular differentiation have provided new insights into the mechanisms of embryonic development and new opportunities to analyze the causes and effects of teratogenic insult. For example, observations of the role of glucocorticoids (Pratt et al., 1984a, 1984b; Pratt, 1985), epidermal growth factor (Grove and Pratt, 1984), NAD (Midura et al., 1985), the composition of the extracellular matrix (Swalla and Solursh, 1984; Solursh et al., 1984), and the possible influence of secretory products of embryonic ectoderm cells on mesenchymal cell differentiation (Solursh, 1984b) have contributed to greater understanding of the factors controlling skeletal system morphogenesis. Investigations such as those using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Sulston and Horvitz, 1977) have developed and extended the concept of cell lineages in the process of postembryonic growth. Mechanistic and morphologically based investigations of the types just described proceed apace. Their results suggest that mechanistic analyses, rather than traditional morphological studies of laboratory animals, may meet future prerequisites of testing for teratogenic potential.
KeywordsTeratogenic Potential Cellular Retinoic Acid Binding Protein Frog Embryo Genetic Toxicology Nonmammalian Vertebrate
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