Emerging Systems Toxicology for Assessment of Risk
Emerging Systems Toxicology for the Assessment of Risk
The mission of HESI’s Emerging Systems Toxicology for Assessment of Risk (eSTAR) Committee is to develop and deliver innovative systems toxicology approaches for risk assessment. The Committee aims to catalyze adoption of new translational and predictive tools that guide decision-making based on mechanistic understanding of toxicological response.
Alison Harrill, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Kamin Johnson, PhD
MicroRNAs (miRNA) are ~19-25 nucleotide long RNA molecules that fine tune gene expression through the inhibition of translation or degradation of the mRNA through incorporation into the RNA induced silencing complex (RISC). MicroRNAs are stable in the serum and plasma, are detectable in a wide variety of body fluids, are conserved across veterinary species and humans and are expressed in a tissue specific manner. They can be detected at low concentrations in circulation in animals and humans, generating interest in the utilization of miRNAs as serum and/or plasma based biomarkers of tissue injury. MicroRNA tissue profiling in rodents has been published, but sample an insufficient number of organs of toxicologic interest using microarray or qPCR technologies for miRNA detection. Here we impart an improved rat microRNA body atlas consisting of 21 and 23 tissues of toxicologic interest from male and female Sprague Dawley rats respectively, using Illumina miRNA sequencing. Several of the authors created a dog miRNA body atlas and we collaborated to test miRNAs conserved in rat and dog pancreas in caerulein toxicity studies utilizing both species.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples represent a potentially invaluable resource for transcriptomic research.
Recent technological advances have led to rapid progress in the characterization of epigenetic modifications that control gene expression in a generally heritable way, and are likely involved in defining cellular phenotypes, developmental stages and disease status from one generation to the next.