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Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are naturally occurring genotoxic compounds, and PA-containing plants can pose a risk to humans through contaminated food sources and herbal products. Upon metabolic activation, PAs can form DNA adducts, DNA and protein cross links, chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei, and DNA double-strand breaks. These genotoxic effects may induce gene mutations and play a role in the carcinogenesis of PAs. This study aims to predict in vivo genotoxicity for two well-studied PAs, lasiocarpine and riddelliine, in rat using in vitro genotoxicity data and physiologically based kinetic (PBK) modelling-based reverse dosimetry. The phosphorylation of histone protein H2AX was used as a quantitative surrogate endpoint for in vitro genotoxicity of lasiocarpine and riddelliine in primary rat hepatocytes and human HepaRG cells. The in vitro concentration–response curves obtained from primary rat hepatocytes were subsequently converted to in vivo dose–response curves from which points of departure (PoDs) were derived that were compared to available in vivo genotoxicity data. The results showed that the predicted PoDs for lasiocarpine and riddelliine were comparable to in vivo genotoxicity data. It is concluded that this quantitative in vitro-in silico approach provides a method to predict in vivo genotoxicity for the large number of PAs for which in vivo genotoxicity data are lacking by integrating in vitro genotoxicity assays with PBK modelling-facilitated reverse dosimetry.
- In vitro–in vivo extrapolation
- Physiologically based kinetic (PBK) model