Previously, we identified 25 classifier genes that were able to assess immunotoxicity using human Jurkat T cells. The present study aimed to validate these classifiers. For that purpose, Jurkat cells were exposed for 6h to subcytotoxic doses of nine immunotoxicants, five non-immunotoxicants and four compounds for which human immunotoxicity has not yet been fully established. RNA was isolated and subjected to Fluidigm quantitative real time (qRT)-PCR analysis. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the screening assay as based on the nine immunotoxicants and five non-immunotoxicants used in this study were 100%, 80% and 93%, respectively, which is better than the performance in our previous study. Only one compound was classified as false positive (benzo-e-pyrene). Of the four potential (non-)immunotoxicants, chlorantraniliprole and Hidrasec were classified immunotoxic and Sunset yellow and imidacloprid as non-immunotoxic. ToxPi analysis of the PCR data provided insight in the molecular pathways that were affected by the compounds. The immunotoxicants 2,3-dichloro-propanol and cypermethrin, although structurally different, affected protein metabolism and cholesterol biosynthesis and transport. In addition, four compounds, i.e.chlorpyrifos, aldicarb, benzo-e-pyrene and anti-CD3, affected genes in cholesterol metabolism and transport, protein metabolism and transcription regulation. qRT-PCR on eight additional genes coding for similar processes as defined in ToxPi analyzes, supported these results. In conclusion, the 25 immunotoxic classifiers performed very well in a screening with new non-immunotoxic and immunotoxic compounds. Therefore, the Jurkat screening assay has great promise to be applied within a tiered approach for animal free testing of human immunotoxicity.
- high throughput