Developmental Immunotoxicology and Risk Assessment: A Workshop Summary

  • Publication Date :
  • Publication Type : Journal Article
  • Author(s) : Holsapple MP
  • Journal Name : Human and Experimental Toxicology

Human and Experimental Toxicology. 2002;21(9-10):473-478

Abstract: A workshop entitled 'Developmental Immunotoxicology and Risk Assessment' was held on 12-13 June 2001, in Washington, DC. The workshopwas organized jointly by the Immunotoxicology Technical Committee (ITC) of the International Life Sciences Institute's (ILSI) Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Growing public concern that early exposure of the developing immune system to immunotoxic compounds may cause significant or persistent postnatal immunosuppression prompted the workshop. The main goal of the workshop was to examine scientific questions that underlie developmental immunotoxicity tests and the interpretation of the results as they relate to human risk assessment. A second goal was to provide a framework, based on current scientific knowledge, for the development of meaningful testing guidelines. The workshop focused on a series of questions that included how to address critical windows of exposure, how to develop and apply more predictive endpoints, does early chemical exposure cause transient or permanent effects on the immune system, as well as other related questions. On the first day, experts were invited to give scientific presentations relating to comparative developmental immunology, models of immunosuppression, and the regulatory aspects of developmental immunotoxicology. The second day was devoted to a panel discussion that included all the speakers as well as meeting participants, which attempted to answer each of the specific questions raised at the workshop. In general, it was acknowledged that there are a variety of techniques available for assessing immunosuppression in adult animal models, but there is uncertainty about how to apply these to a developing animal, especially if the goal is to have some standard procedure that can be applied for regulatory risk assessment. It was pointed out that although we know a lot about the developing immune system of individual species, we do not know how to relate the significance of drug or chemical effects on these systems in terms of human hazard. Overall, the panel deemed the area of developmental immunotoxicity to be still in its infancy and outlined strategies that could lead to the development of standard practices.

To view the full citation, click here.

Contact Us

Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)
Phone: +1-202-659-8404
Fax: +1-202-659-3859

740 15th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005

Stay Informed

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.