Alternative Methods to the Use of Lab Animals
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Owner/Developer: Institute Pasteur de Montevideo
21 May 2018
Regional Platform of Alternative Methods of MERCOSUL (PReMASUL).
From May 21 to 25, researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay met at the institute for practical and theoretical training. Each participant would be able to transfer the learned techniques to their institutions, replicating these methodologies and offer them to their own countries.
Along with the diversity of countries, the variety of institutions present in the course collaborates to amplify voices and demonstrate the value of alternative methods today. The course was strongly supported by the National Commission for Animal Experimentation (CNEA) and the Uruguayan Association for the Science and Technology of Lab Animals (AUCyTAL).
Hands-on training, Lecture
Optional / Voluntary
Students, Researchers, Regulators and policy-makers, Teachers and educators, Technicians, Managers, Scientific officers / Project managers, Professionals (e.g. veterinarians)
Academia, Industry, Governmental bodies, Contract Research Organizations (CROs), Consulting, SMEs
University (Bachelor), University (Master), University (Doctoral education), Postdoctoral (teaching and research), Continuing Professional Development
Computational methods, In vitro methods
Full coverage (a dedicated course)
|Details on the topic or technology covered:||
Reconstructed Human skin and other alternatives
Guided by trainers from different countries, some of the alternative methods presented during the course focused on replacing those that traditionally use animals in skin and eye irritation tests, and in trials to measure chemical adverse reactions when exposure to light (phototoxicity test).
Usually, for this type of tests, researchers use rabbits, rats, mice or guinea pigs, explained Martina Crispo and Mariela Bollati, scientists responsible for the Transgenic and Experimental Animal Unit and the Cell Biology Unit at the IP Montevideo, respectively, and organizers of the course. However, the objective of this training was to introduce and train participants on different alternative methods available in the region.
In skin irritation tests, for example, the workshop introduced the use of reconstructed human epidermis (EpiSkin) from normal human keratinocytes cultured on a filter in a chemically defined medium. This model is histologically similar to in vivo human epidermis.
However, in the region, researchers could not use this reconstructed skin because only European laboratories produced this tissue, and the required time to arrive to South America affects the integrity of the cells.
Since 2017, the Brazilian based branch of the cosmetic company L’Oréal produces the EpiSkin model in the region, which made it possible to use it as an alternative method to animal testing in the South cone.
Other alternative test models included during the course were the use of bovine corneas of slaughtered cattle or chorioallantoic membranes (the fetal part of the placenta) of chicken eggs to replace the use of rabbits, for example, in ocular irritation tests.
The course also introduced the use of cell lines, and “in silico” methods, which are based on computer simulations that use data from existing studies to predict the results of the tests.
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