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Short-term Tests for the Determination of Genotoxic and Carcinogenic Potential of Xenobiotics

Genetic Toxicology, Oncogenesis, Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology

  1. Alok Dhawan PhD, FST, MNASc, MAMS

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat080

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Dhawan, A. 2009. Short-term Tests for the Determination of Genotoxic and Carcinogenic Potential of Xenobiotics. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (formerly, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre), Developmental Toxicology Division, Lucknow, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

Abstract

The advent of industrial revolution has seen a significant increase in the number of chemicals being released into the environment and it becomes imperative to check their toxic potential. Exposure to such compounds produces chemical changes in DNA, which are generally repaired by the DNA-repair enzymes. Hence, adequate tests have to be conducted for risk assessment and hazard prediction of these chemicals. Earlier, only long-term animal bioassays, involving lifetime studies on animals, were used to classify substances as mutagens/carcinogens. These tests were cumbersome, time-consuming, resource-intensive and expensive. Therefore, rapid, sensitive and less resource intensive short-term tests were developed for testing of new chemical entities. A ‘battery’ of three to four of these short-term tests has now been proposed by a number of regulatory agencies for classification of the compounds as mutagenic or carcinogenic. Although several short-term tests are available, molecular biology and in silico methods are now being developed to predict the genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of chemicals at an early stage for interventional strategies to be implemented in time.

Keywords:

  • short-term tests;
  • genotoxicity;
  • carcinogenicity