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posted on 20.03.2018, 14:19 by Zhichao Liu, Brian Delavan, Ruth Roberts, Weida Tong

Toxicogenomics (TGx) is an important tool to gain an enhanced understanding of toxicity at the molecular level. Previously, we developed a pair ranking (PRank) method to assess in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) using toxicogenomic datasets from the Open Toxicogenomics Project-Genomics Assisted Toxicity Evaluation System (TG-GATEs) database. With this method, we investiagted three important questions that were not addressed in our previous study: (1) is a 1-day in vivo short-term assay able to replace the 28-day standard and expensive toxicological assay? (2) are some biological processes more conservative across different preclinical testing systems than others? and (3) do these preclinical testing systems have the similar resolution in differentiating drugs by their therapeutic uses? For question 1, a high similarity was noted (PRank score = 0.90), indicating the potential utility of shorter term in vivo studies to predict outcome in longer term and more expensive in vivo model systems. There was a moderate similarity between rat primary hepatocytes and in vivo repeat-dose studies (PRank score = 0.71) but a low similarity (PRank score = 0.56) between rat primary hepatocytes and in vivo single dose studies. To address question 2, we limited the analysis to gene sets relevant to specific toxicogenomic pathways and we found that pathways such as lipid metabolism were consistently over-represented in all three assay systems. For question 3, all three preclinical assay systems could distinguish compounds from different therapeutic categories. This suggests that any noted differences in assay systems was biological process-dependent and furthermore that all three systems have utility in assessing drug responses within a certain drug class. In conclusion, this comparison of three commonly used rat TGx systems provides useful information in utility and application of TGx assays.