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Brochure: Proefdiervrije testmethode


Current toxicological research concentrates on identifying hazards of chemical compounds and assessing risks of human exposure. These assessments are based on toxicological tests, most using animals as models for man. Despite decades of experience, this risk assessment is still hampered by uncertainties, such as extrapolation of data from animal to man and from short-term experiments in animals to long-term real-life exposure of man.

Toxicogenomics - the application of genomics-based technologies in toxicological research - may provide tools to tackle these uncertainties. It also offers the opportunity to develop tests that require fewer laboratory animals or cause them less inconvenience, and may eventually replace animal tests completely by in vitro assays using animal or human cells.

 

Consequently, the Netherlands Toxicogenomics Centre (NTC) aims to employ toxicogenomics to increase the basic understanding of toxicological mechanisms towards developing new and better test methods that also provide alternatives to animal testing, by developing highly predictive screens based on gene expression or protein/metabolite fingerprints, to be used for in depth evaluation of chemical safety for human health, thereby replacing/reducing/refining animal experiments, and thereby, for improving the scientific basis of chemical risk assessment.

 

Current toxicological research concentrates on identifying hazards of chemical compounds and assessing risks of human exposure. These assessments are based on toxicological tests, most using animals as models for man. Despite decades of experience, this risk assessment is still hampered by uncertainties, such as extrapolation of data from animal to man and from short-term experiments in animals to long-term real-life exposure of man.

 

Toxicogenomics - the application of genomics-based technologies in toxicological research - may provide tools to tackle these uncertainties. It also offers the opportunity to develop tests that require fewer laboratory animals or cause them less inconvenience, and may eventually replace animal tests completely by in vitro assays using animal or human cells.

 

Consequently, the Netherlands Toxicogenomics Centre (NTC) aims to employ toxicogenomics to increase the basic understanding of toxicological mechanisms towards developing new and better test methods that also provide alternatives to animal testing, by developing highly predictive screens based on gene expression or protein/metabolite fingerprints, to be used for in depth evaluation of chemical safety for human health, thereby replacing/reducing/refining animal experiments, and thereby, for improving the scientific basis of chemical risk assessment.

 

NTC has been initiated by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative and kicked off in 2004. NTC represents a collaboration of the leading Netherlands institutions in the area of toxicogenomics: National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), RIKILT Institute of Food Safety, TNO, Leiden University, Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), Wageningen University, Erasmus MC and Maastricht University (coordinator).

 

NTC's current research projects focus on developing genomics approaches towards important toxicological endpoints e.g. carcinogenicity, immunotoxicity, reproduction toxicity, and liver and kidney toxicity, all major public health concerns. Various high throughput technologies are evaluated as well. NTC's 5-year research program involves evaluating the potential of combining microarray-based technologies with other -omics technologies such as proteomics and metabolomics.