Application of BALB/c mouse in the local lymph node assay:BrdU-ELISA for the prediction of the skin sensitising potential of chemicals

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a skin disease characterised by eczema and itching. A considerable proportion of chemicals induce ACD in humans. More than 10,000 substances should be tested for skin sensitisation potential under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) regulation. The Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA) has been designated as the first-choice in vivo assay for sensitisation testing by REACH. The LLNA:BrdU-ELISA is a validated non-radioactive modification to the LLNA. For both the LLNA and the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA, CBA/JN mouse is the preferred mouse strain recommended in the regulatory guidelines. However, the availability of CBA/JN mouse in China is only limited to a few animal suppliers, which makes the mouse difficult to obtain. BALB/c mouse, which is widely commercially available, is considered for alternative use but it can only be used in the assay after it has been evaluated by formal validation study. Thus, a validation study was conducted in our laboratory to determine if BALB/c mouse could also be used in the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA. Forty-three test substances including 32 LLNA sensitisers and 11 LLNA non-sensitisers, their vehicles and each concentration used were the same as that used in the formal validation study for the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA using CBA/JN mouse. Female BALB/c mice of 8-10weeks old were randomly allocated to groups (four mice per group). The test substance (25?l) or the vehicle alone was applied to the dorsum of both ears daily for 3 consecutive days. A single intraperitoneal injection of 0.5ml of BrdU (10mg/ml) solution was given on day 5. On day 6, a pair of auricular lymph nodes from each mouse was excised, weighed and stored at -20°C until BrdU-ELISA was conducted. This validation study for the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA using BALB/c mouse correctly identified 30 of 31 sensitisers and 8 of 11 non-sensitisers. The authors concluded that the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, false positive rate, false negative rate, positive predictivity values and negative predictivity values in this study, which could indicate the performance of the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA using BALB/c mouse, were not different statistically from that of the validation study for the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA using CBA/JN mouse. This validation study indicates that BALB/c mouse could be used alternatively in the LLNA:BrdU-ELISA for the prediction of the skin sensitising potential of chemicals.

Authors: Hou F, Xing C, Li B, Cheng J, Chen W, Zhang M. ;Authors: Journal of Pharmacology & Toxicology Methods. 2015 Jan 16. pii: S1056-8719(15)00002-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2015.01.001. [Epub ahead of print] ;