The identification of potential damage due to chemical exposure in the workplace is a major health and regulatory concern. Traditional tests that measure both sensitization and elicitation responses require the use of animals. An alternative to this widespread use of experimental animals could have a crucial impact on risk assessment, especially for the preliminary screening of new molecules. We developed an in vitro model for the screening of potential toxic compounds. Human keratinocytes (HaCat) were used as target cells while matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) were selected as responders because they are key enzymes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation in physiological and pathological conditions. Chemical exposure was performed using nickel sulphate as a positive tester. Nickel contact induced upregulation of MMP-2 and IL-8 mRNA production. Molecular activation occurred even at very low nickel concentrations even though no phenotypic changes were observed. MMP-9 accumulation was found in the medium of treated cells with respect to controls. These observations led to the hypothesis that even minimal exposure can accumulate transcriptional activity resulting in long-term clinical signs after contact. Our simple in vitro model can be applied as a useful preliminary complement to the animal studies to screen the effects of new potential toxic compounds.

In vitro evaluation of matrix metalloproteinases as predictive testing for nickel, a model sensitizing agent.

LAMBERTI, Monica;PERFETTO, Brunella;BARONI, Adone;SANNOLO, Nicola;GIULIANO, Mariateresa
2004

Abstract

The identification of potential damage due to chemical exposure in the workplace is a major health and regulatory concern. Traditional tests that measure both sensitization and elicitation responses require the use of animals. An alternative to this widespread use of experimental animals could have a crucial impact on risk assessment, especially for the preliminary screening of new molecules. We developed an in vitro model for the screening of potential toxic compounds. Human keratinocytes (HaCat) were used as target cells while matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) were selected as responders because they are key enzymes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation in physiological and pathological conditions. Chemical exposure was performed using nickel sulphate as a positive tester. Nickel contact induced upregulation of MMP-2 and IL-8 mRNA production. Molecular activation occurred even at very low nickel concentrations even though no phenotypic changes were observed. MMP-9 accumulation was found in the medium of treated cells with respect to controls. These observations led to the hypothesis that even minimal exposure can accumulate transcriptional activity resulting in long-term clinical signs after contact. Our simple in vitro model can be applied as a useful preliminary complement to the animal studies to screen the effects of new potential toxic compounds.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/228293
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