Respiratory sensitization: toxicological point of view on the available assays
Respiratory sensitization as a consequence of exposure to chemical products has increased over the last decades, leading to an increase of morbidity. The increased use of synthetic compounds resulted in an exponential growth of substances to which we are potentially exposed on a daily basis. Some of them are known to induce respiratory sensitization, meaning that they can trigger the development of allergies. In the past, animal studies provided useful results for the understanding of mechanisms involved in the development of respiratory allergies. However, the mechanistic understanding of the involved cellular effects is still limited. Currently, no in vitro or in vivo models are validated to identify chemical respiratory sensitizers. Nonetheless, chemical respiratory sensitizers elicit a positive response in validated assays for skin sensitization. In this review, we will discuss how these assays could be used for respiratory sensitization and if necessary, what can be learnt from these assays to develop a model to assess the respiratory sensitizing potential of chemicals. In the last decades, much work has been done to study the respiratory toxicity of inhaled compounds especially in developing in vitro assays grown at the air–liquid interface. We will discuss how possibly the tests currently used to investigate general particle toxicity could be transformed to investigate respiratory sensitization. In the present review, we describe the most known mechanism involved in the sensitization process and the experimental in vivo and alternative in vitro models, which are currently available and how to adapt and improve existing models to study respiratory sensitization.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00204-017-2088-5
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