Development of Sensitive In Vitro Assays to Assess the Ocular Toxicity Potential of Chemicals and Ophthalmic Products
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The utilization of in vitro tests with a tiered testing strategy for detection of mild ocular irritants can reduce the use of animals for testing, provide mechanistic data on toxic effects, and reduce the uncertainty associated with dose selection for clinical trials. The first section of this thesis describes how in vitro methods can be used to improve the prediction of the toxicity of chemicals and ophthalmic products. The proper utilization of in vitro methods can accurately predict toxic threshold levels and reduce animal use in product development. Sections two, three and four describe the development of new sensitive in vitro methods for predicting ocular toxicity. Maintaining the barrier function of the cornea is critical for the prevention of the penetration of infections microorganisms and irritating chemicals into the eye. Chapter 2 describes the development of a method for assessing the effects of chemicals on tight junctions using a human corneal epithelial and canine kidney epithelial cell line. In Chapter 3 a method that uses a primary organ culture for assessing single instillation and multiple instillation toxic effects is described. The ScanTox system was shown to be an ideal system to monitor the toxic effects over time as multiple readings can be taken of treated bovine lenses using the nondestructive method of assessing for the lens optical quality. Confirmations of toxic effects were made with the utilization of the viability dye alamarBlue. Chapter 4 describes the development of sensitive in vitro assays for detecting ocular toxicity by measuring the effects of chemicals on the mitochondrial integrity of bovine cornea, bovine lens epithelium and corneal epithelial cells, using fluorescent dyes. The goal of this research was to develop an in vitro test battery that can be used to accurately predict the ocular toxicity of new chemicals and ophthalmic formulations. By comparing the toxicity seen in vivo animals and humans with the toxicity response in these new in vitro methods, it was demonstrated that these in vitro methods can be utilized in a tiered testing strategy in the development of new chemicals and ophthalmic formulations.
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