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Toxicol Sci. 2010 Oct;117(2):348-58. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfq220. Epub 2010 Jul 16.

Incorporating human dosimetry and exposure into high-throughput in vitro toxicity screening.

Author information

  • 1National Center for Computational Toxicology, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, USA.

Erratum in

  • Toxicol Sci. 2014 Feb;137(2):499. Dosage error in article text.


Many chemicals in commerce today have undergone limited or no safety testing. To reduce the number of untested chemicals and prioritize limited testing resources, several governmental programs are using high-throughput in vitro screens for assessing chemical effects across multiple cellular pathways. In this study, metabolic clearance and plasma protein binding were experimentally measured for 35 ToxCast phase I chemicals. The experimental data were used to parameterize a population-based in vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation model for estimating the human oral equivalent dose necessary to produce a steady-state in vivo concentration equivalent to in vitro AC(50) (concentration at 50% of maximum activity) and LEC (lowest effective concentration) values from the ToxCast data. For 23 of the 35 chemicals, the range of oral equivalent doses for up to 398 ToxCast assays was compared with chronic aggregate human oral exposure estimates in order to assess whether significant in vitro bioactivity occurred within the range of maximum expected human oral exposure. Only 2 of the 35 chemicals, triclosan and pyrithiobac-sodium, had overlapping oral equivalent doses and estimated human oral exposures. Ranking by the potencies of the AC(50) and LEC values, these two chemicals would not have been at the top of a prioritization list. Integrating both dosimetry and human exposure information with the high-throughput toxicity screening efforts provides a better basis for making informed decisions on chemical testing priorities and regulatory attention. Importantly, these tools are necessary to move beyond hazard rankings to estimates of possible in vivo responses based on in vitro screens.

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