Soothing Skin Sensitivity Using Human Cell Line Activation Test


There are 2 types of scientific research in vivo (animal method) and in vitro (non-animal method). Changing times have led scientists to gravitate towards the non-animal method and EURL ECVAM (the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) is aim to promote and regulate use non-animal tests to develop and validate the research. As scholars in the research field we also take courses learning the use of in vitro methods. For example, in my course Applications in Methods of Toxicological Research, we have do to an assignment discuss about using alternative methods. The topic I choose is skin sensitization (OECD 442E).

What is OECD?

OECD stands for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD Guidelines for the testing of chemicals is an international agreement for testing methods that are used by government, industry and independent laboratories to identify and characterize the safety level of potential hazards chemicals.

What is skin sensitization?

It is where human skin has a allergic response from a substance. So products like lotion, makeup, body wash, or chemicals, how the human skin would react to the ingredients. This OECD 442E talks about Human Cell Line Activation Test (h-CLAT). But before I go into details you need to know what is Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP).

AOP represents a series of biological events that leads to adverse effects. It is a linear way that are connected through key events (KE) which starts from molecular initiating event (MIE) and ends with an adverse outcome (AO).AOP

h-CLAT method address the third key event of the skin sensitization AOP, which is changing the cell surface markers expression by activating monocytes and DC (CD86 and CD54), in the human monocytic leukaemia cell line THP-1. The measured expression levels of CD86 and CD54 can discriminate between skin sensitizer and non-sensitizers through tested chemicals.

AOP Skin
Skin Sensitization AOP

Within all those technical terms, the logic is simple: how chemical products can be used in our lives safely through using in vitro instead of in vivo methods. The reason why I chose skin sensitization is because I feel that anything we use or eat affects us. Skin, being the largest human body part generally is our first line of defense or our first indicator that something is wrong. From rashes to pimples, itchy or tender, they are signs that our body is not adjusting to the chemicals we are exposed to.


Jennifer Tsai

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