New approach methods to assess developmental and adult neurotoxicity for regulatory use: A PARC Work Package 5 project

← Back to publications

Published: 2024-03-18

Formatted citation

Tal T, Myhre O, Fritsche E, Rüegg J, Craenen K, Aiello K, Agrillo C, Babin PJ, Escher BI, Dirven H, Hellsten K, Dolva K, Heusinkveld H, Hadzhiev Y, Hurem S, Jagiello K, Judzinska B, Klüver N, Knoll-Gellida A, Kühne BA, Leist M, Lislien M, Lyche JL, Müller F, Neuhaus W, Pallocca G, Seeger B, Scharkin I, Scholz S, Spjuth O, Torres-Ruiz M and Bartmann K.. New approach methods to assess developmental and adult neurotoxicity for regulatory use: A PARC Work Package 5 project.
Frontiers in Toxicology. 6, 1359507 (2024). DOI: 10.3389/ftox.2024.1359507


In the European regulatory context, rodent in vivo studies are the predominant source of neurotoxicity information. Although they form a cornerstone of neurotoxicological assessments, they are costly and the topic of ethical debate. While the public expects chemicals and products to be safe for the developing and mature nervous systems, considerable numbers of chemicals in commerce have not, or only to a limited extent, been assessed for their potential to cause neurotoxicity. As such, there is a societal push toward the replacement of animal models with in vitro or alternative methods. New approach methods (NAMs) can contribute to the regulatory knowledge base, increase chemical safety, and modernize chemical hazard and risk assessment. Provided they reach an acceptable level of regulatory relevance and reliability, NAMs may be considered as replacements for specific in vivo studies. The European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) addresses challenges to the development and implementation of NAMs in chemical risk assessment. In collaboration with regulatory agencies, Project 5.2.1e (Neurotoxicity) aims to develop and evaluate NAMs for developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) and adult neurotoxicity (ANT) and to understand the applicability domain of specific NAMs for the detection of endocrine disruption and epigenetic perturbation. To speed up assay time and reduce costs, we identify early indicators of later-onset effects. Ultimately, we will assemble second-generation developmental neurotoxicity and first-generation adult neurotoxicity test batteries, both of which aim to provide regulatory hazard and risk assessors and industry stakeholders with robust, speedy, lower-cost, and informative next-generation hazard and risk assessment tools.