Developmental Toxicology Evaluations Issues with Including Neurotoxicology and Immunotoxicology Assessments in Reproductive Toxicology Studies
Developmental and reproductive toxixology (DART) has routinely been a part of safety assessment. Attention is now focused on the effects of chemicals on the developing nervous and immune systems. This focus on developmental neurotoxicology (DNT) and developmental immunotoxicology (DIT) is based on the premise that children differ from adults in some aspects of their biology and, thus, may also differ in their responses to chemicals. This session's objective was to discuss issues common to DNT and DIT as they relate to DART protocols, including high dose selection and maternal toxicity, adequacy of pup exposure during lactation, use of a different dosing paradigm for DART versus DNT or DIT studies, and whether DIT and DNT endpoints can be incorporated into a single DART study for hazard identification purposes. Consensus was achieved on all topics except the adequacy for risk assessment purposes of the use of a limited number of endpoints for DIT and DNT, with the DNT endpoints being the primary focus of disagreement. Panelists indixated that a combination study design for hazard identification was feasible, though flexibility to meet scientific needs of the projext was emphasized. The adequacy of existing triggers for additional developmental studies was also questioned, Panelists iterated the inportance of understanding pup exposure during the various life stages and the use of toxicokinetic data in designing these studies. The group agreed to consider the HESI ACSA Life Stages Task Force recommendations as a next step to address some of the issues and challenges raised during this session.