Rapid and Simple Kinetics Screening Assay for Electrophilic Dermal Sensitizers Using Nitrobenzenethiol

The need for alternatives to animal-based skin sensitization testing has spurred research on the use of in vitro, in silico, and in chemico methods. Glutathione and other select peptides have been used to determine the reactivity of electrophilic allergens to nucleophiles, but these methods are inadequate to accurately measure rapid kinetics observed with many chemical sensitizers. A kinetic spectrophotometric assay involving the reactivity of electrophilic sensitizers to nitrobenzenethiol was evaluated. Stopped-flow techniques and conventional UV spectrophotometric measurements enabled the determination of reaction rates with half-lives ranging from 0.4 ms (benzoquinone) to 46.2 s (ethyl acrylate). Rate constants were measured for seven extreme, five strong, seven moderate, and four weak/nonsensitizers. Seventeen out of the 23 tested chemicals were pseudo-first order, and three were second order. In three out of the 23 chemicals, deviations from first and second order were apparent where the chemicals exhibited complex kinetics whose rates are mixed order. The reaction rates of the electrophiles correlated positively with their EC3 values within the same mechanistic domain. Nonsensitizers such as benzaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, and benzocaine did not react with nitrobenzenethiol. Cyclic anhydrides, select diones, and aromatic aldehydes proved to be false negatives in this assay. The findings from this simple and rapid absorbance model show that for the same mechanistic domain, skin sensitization is driven mainly by electrophilic reactivity. This simple, rapid, and inexpensive absorbance-based method has great potential for use as a preliminary screening tool for skin allergens.

Source : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx100003w

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