Toxicology across scales: Cell population growth in vitro predicts reduced fish growth

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Science Advances  07 Aug 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 7, e1500302
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500302


Environmental risk assessment of chemicals is essential but often relies on ethically controversial and expensive methods. We show that tests using cell cultures, combined with modeling of toxicological effects, can replace tests with juvenile fish. Hundreds of thousands of fish at this developmental stage are annually used to assess the influence of chemicals on growth. Juveniles are more sensitive than adult fish, and their growth can affect their chances to survive and reproduce. Thus, to reduce the number of fish used for such tests, we propose a method that can quantitatively predict chemical impact on fish growth based on in vitro data. Our model predicts reduced fish growth in two fish species in excellent agreement with measured in vivo data of two pesticides. This promising step toward alternatives to fish toxicity testing is simple, inexpensive, and fast and only requires in vitro data for model calibration.

  • fish
  • toxicokinetics
  • toxicodynamics
  • growth
  • in vitro
  • cell line
  • TK-TD model

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