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Arch Toxicol. 2013 Apr;87(4):563-7. doi: 10.1007/s00204-013-1038-0. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Inflammatory findings on species extrapolations: humans are definitely no 70-kg mice.


Modern toxicology has embraced in vitro methods, and major hopes are based on the Omics technologies and systems biology approaches they bring along (Hartung and McBride in ALTEX 28(2):83-93, 2011; Hartung et al. in ALTEX 29(2):119-28, 2012). A culture of stringent validation has been developed for such approaches (Leist et al. in ALTEX 27(4):309-317, 2010; ALTEX 29(4):373-88, 2012a; Toxicol Res 1:8-22, 2012b), while the quality and usefulness of animal experiments have been little scrutinized. A new study (Seok et al. 2013) now shows the low predictivity of animal responses in the field of inflammation. These findings corroborate earlier findings from comparisons in the fields of neurodegeneration, stroke and sepsis. The low predictivity of animal experiments in research areas allowing direct comparisons of mouse versus human data puts strong doubt on the usefulness of animal data as key technology to predict human safety.

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