Lund, Sweden — Laboratory-grown human cells can now be used to classify chemicals as sensitizing or nonsensitizing and can predict the strength of allergic response, thus providing an alternative to animal testing, ScienceDaily reports.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden used genome-wide profiling to measure the response of a human myeloid leukemia cell line to known chemicals. From this they defined a biomarker signature of 200 genes that could accurately discriminate between sensitizing and nonsensitizing chemicals. By comparing this signature with the known action of these chemicals, they also were able to predict sensitizing potency.
European legislation restricts animal testing within the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The new research provides a potential alternative testing method to ensure that new drugs are hypoallergenic, investigators note.