An European inter-laboratory validation of alternative endpoints of the murine local lymph node assay: first round

G. Ehling, M. Hecht, J. Heusler, O. Gamer, H. van Loveren, T. Maurer, K. Riecke, L. Ullman, P. Ullrich, R.J. Vandebriel, H.W. Vohr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The new OECD guideline 429 (skin sensitization: local lymph node assay) is based upon a protocol, which utilises the incorporation of radioactivity into DNA as a measure for cell proliferation in vivo. The guideline also enables the use of alternative endpoints in order to assess draining lymph node (LN) cell proliferation. Here we describe the first round of an inter-laboratory validation of alternative endpoints in the LLNA conducted in seven laboratories. The validation study was managed and supervised by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, Swissmedic. Statistical analyses of all data were performed by an independent centre at the University of Bern, Department of Statistics. Ear-draining, LN weight and cell count were used to assess proliferation instead of radioactive labeling of lymph node cells. In addition, the acute inflammatory skin reaction was measured by ear swelling and weight of circular biopsies of the ears to identify skin irritating properties of the test items. Hexylcinnamaldehyde (HCA) and three blinded test items were applied to female, 8--10 weeks old NMRI and BALB/c mice. Results were sent via the independent study coordinator to the statistician. The results of this first round showed that the alternative endpoints of the LLNA are sensitive and robust parameters. The use of ear weights added an important parameter assessing the skin irritation potential, which supports the differentiation of pure irritative from contact allergenic potential. There were absolute no discrepancies between the categorisation of the three test substances A--C determined by each single participating laboratories. The results highlighted also that many parameters do have an impact on the strength of the responses. Therefore, such parameters have to be taken into consideration for the categorisation of compounds due to their relative sensitizing potencies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-68
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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