Adverse outcome pathways: A conceptual framework to support ecotoxicology research and risk assessment

We propose the adverse outcome pathway as this framework

Gerald T. Ankley; Richard S. Bennett; Russell J. Erickson; Dale J. Hoff; Michael W. Hornung; Rodney D. Johnson; David R. Mount; John W. Nichols; Christine L. Russom; Patricia K. Schmieder; Jose A. Serrrano; Joseph E. Tietge; Daniel L. Villeneuve


Scholarcy highlights

  • Ecological risk assessors face increasing demands to assess more chemicals, with greater speed and accuracy, and to do so using fewer resources and experimental animals
  • We propose the adverse outcome pathway as this framework
  • Consideration of the linkage of adverse outcomes to molecular initiating events and intermediate endpoints allows a diversity of ecotoxicological information from different levels of biological organization to be more effectively applied to risk assessment goals
  • As illustrated in the case examples, considering assessment problems in terms of AOPs can help the development of methods for extrapolating effects among species and chemicals and for relating organism-level endpoints to biomarkers, cellular assays, and other suborganismal information
  • These examples derive from work not explicitly using the AOP terminology and framework, they demonstrate the value of recognizing such mechanistic linkages and the need to better formalize and pursue their consideration in risk assessments
  • Narcosis is the least detailed of the AOPs that we will discuss, it is important in ecotoxicology because approximately 60% of all industrial organic chemicals are thought to act via this AOP 8
  • An AOP perspective can help in identifying what information would have utility for assessing the adverse outcomes relevant to risk assessors and help efficient assignment of limited resources
  • By combining this approach with an understanding of chemical exposure and potency, it will be possible to focus research efforts on the questions of greatest relevance to a specific assessment problem

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