Lasiocarpine and riddelliine are pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) known to cause liver toxicity. The aim of this study was to predict the inter-species and inter-ethnic human differences in acute liver toxicity of lasiocarpine and riddelliine using physiologically based kinetic (PBK) modelling based reverse dosimetry of in vitro toxicity data. The concentration–response curves of in vitro cytotoxicity of lasiocarpine and riddelliine defined in pooled human hepatocytes were translated to in vivo dose–response curves by PBK models developed using kinetic data obtained from incubations with pooled tissue fractions from Chinese and Caucasian individuals, providing PBK models for the average Chinese and average Caucasian, respectively. From the predicted in vivo dose–response curves, the benchmark dose lower and upper confidence limits for 5% effect (BMDL5 and BMDU5) were derived and subsequently compared to those previously obtained in rat to evaluate inter-species differences. The inter-species differences amounted to 2.0-fold for lasiocarpine and 8.2-fold for riddelliine with humans being more sensitive than rats. The inter-ethnic human differences varied 2.0-fold for lasiocarpine and 5.0-fold for riddelliine with the average Caucasian being more sensitive than the average Chinese. In conclusion, the present study provides the proof-of-principle to predict inter-species and inter-ethnic differences in in vivo liver toxicity for PAs by an alternative testing strategy integrating in vitro cytotoxicity data with PBK modelling-based reverse dosimetry.
- Physiologically based kinetic (PBK) model