Browsing Articles and other publications by RIVM employees by Subjects
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In Vitro Enhancement of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection by Maternal Antibodies Does Not Explain Disease Severity in Infants.Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of severe respiratory illness in infants. At this young age, infants typically depend on maternally transferred antibodies (matAbs) and their innate immune system for protection against infections. RSV-specific matAbs are thought to protect from severe illness, yet severe RSV disease occurs mainly below 6 months of age, when neutralizing matAb levels are present. To investigate this discrepancy, we asked if disease severity is related to antibody properties other than neutralization. Some antibody effector functions are mediated via their Fc binding region. However, it has been shown that this binding may lead to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection or reduction of neutralization, both possibly leading to more disease. In this study, we first showed that high levels of ADE of RSV infection occur in monocytic THP-1 cells in the presence of RSV antibodies and that neutralization by these antibodies was reduced in Vero cells when they were transduced with Fc gamma receptors. We then demonstrated that antibodies from cotton rats with formalin-inactivated (FI)-RSV-induced pulmonary pathology were capable of causing ADE. Human matAbs also caused ADE and were less neutralizing in vitro in cells that carry Fc receptors. However, these effects were unrelated to disease severity because they were seen both in uninfected controls and in infants hospitalized with different levels of RSV disease severity. We conclude that ADE and reduction of neutralization are unlikely to be involved in RSV disease in infants with neutralizing matAbs.IMPORTANCE It is unclear why severity of RSV disease peaks at the age when infants have neutralizing levels of maternal antibodies. Additionally, the exact reason for FI-RSV-induced enhanced disease, as seen in the 1960s vaccine trials, is still unclear. We hypothesized that antibodies present under either of these conditions could contribute to disease severity. Antibodies can have effects that may lead to more disease instead of protection. We investigated two of those effects: antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE) and neutralization reduction. We show that ADE occurs in vitro with antibodies from FI-RSV-immunized RSV-infected cotton rats. Moreover, passively acquired maternal antibodies from infants had the capacity to induce ADE and reduction of neutralization. However, no clear association with disease severity was seen, ruling out that these properties explain disease in the presence of maternal antibodies. Our data contribute to a better understanding of the impact of antibodies on RSV disease in infants.
In vitro to in vivo extrapolation of effective dosimetry in developmental toxicity testing: Application of a generic PBK modelling approach.Incorporation of kinetics to quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolations (QIVIVE) is a key step for the realization of a non-animal testing paradigm, in the sphere of regulatory toxicology. The use of Physiologically-Based Kinetic (PBK) modelling for determining systemic doses of chemicals at the target site is accepted to be an indispensable element for such purposes. Nonetheless, PBK models are usually designed for a single or a group of compounds and are considered demanding, with respect to experimental data needed for model parameterization. Alternatively, we evaluate here the use of a more generic approach, i.e. the so-called IndusChemFate model, which is based on incorporated QSAR model parametrization. The model was used to simulate the in vivo kinetics of three diverse classes of developmental toxicants: triazoles, glycol ethers' alkoxyacetic acid metabolites and phthalate primary metabolites. The model required specific input per each class of compounds. These compounds were previously tested in three alternative assays: the whole-embryo culture (WEC), the zebrafish embryo test (ZET), and the mouse embryonic stem cell test (EST). Thereafter, the PBK-simulated blood levels at toxic in vivo doses were compared to the respective in vitro effective concentrations. Comparisons pertaining to relative potency and potency ranking with integration of kinetics were similar to previously obtained comparisons. Additionally, all three in vitro systems produced quite comparable results, and hence, a combination of alternative tests is still preferable for predicting the endpoint of developmental toxicity in vivo. This approach is put forward as biologically more plausible since plasma concentrations, rather than external administered doses, constitute the most direct in vivo dose metric.
A transcriptomic approach for evaluating the relative potency and mechanism of action of azoles in the rat Whole Embryo Culture.We evaluated the effect of six azoles on embryonic development in the rat whole embryo culture (WEC). Using the total morphological scoring system (TMS), we calculated the ID10concentration (effective dose for 10% decrease in TMS). For evaluating gene specific responses, we combined previously and newly collected transcriptomics data of rat WEC exposed to a total of twelve azoles at their ID10for 4h. Results revealed shared expressions responses in genes involved in the retinoic acid (RA) and sterol biosynthesis pathways, which are respectively representatives of developmental toxicity and targeted fungicidal action of the azoles. Azoles with more pronounced effects on the regulation of RA-associated genes were generally characterized as more potent embryotoxicants. Overall, compounds with strong sterol biosynthesis related responses and low RA related responses were considered as more favourable candidates, as they specifically regulated genes related to a desired target response. Among the identified sterol associated genes, we detected that methylsterol monooxygenase 1 (Msmo1) was more sensitively induced compared to Cyp51, a classical biomarker of this pathway. Therefore, we suggest that Msmo1 could be a better biomarker for screening the fungicidal value of azoles. In summary, we conclude that the embryonic regulation of RA and sterol metabolic pathways could be indicators for ranking azoles as embryotoxicants and determining their drug efficacy.