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Evaluation of an in vitro experimental platform of human polarized intestinal epithelial monolayers for the hazard assessment of insecticidal proteins

Zimmermann, CS;Snow, RF;Wilson-Mifsud, B;LeRoy, K;Boeckman, C;Huang, E;Mathesius, CA;Roper, JM;Hurley, BP;

Previous work demonstrated the utility of using human-derived intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lines cultured as polarized monolayers on Transwell filters to differentiate between hazardous and non-hazardous proteins. The current study seeks to further resolve appropriate concentrations for evaluating proteins of unknown hazard potential using the IEC experimental platform and leverages these parameters for evaluating the potential toxicity of insecticidal proteins characteristic of those expressed in genetically modified (GM) agricultural biotechnology crops. To establish optimal test protein concentrations, effects of several known hazardous (C. perfringens epsilon toxin, Listeriolysin O, Phaseolus vulgaris erythroagglutinin, E. coli Shiga toxin 1, C. difficile Toxin B and wheat germ agglutinin) and non-hazardous (Ara-h2, ?-lactoglobulin, fibronectin and Rubisco) proteins on IEC barrier integrity and cell viability were evaluated at concentration ranges. Two insecticidal proteins (AfIP-1A and AfIP-1B) were evaluated for effects in the IEC assay, a seven-day insecticidal bioassay, and assessed in a high-dose 14-day acute oral toxicity study in mice. The results obtained from the human in vitro IEC assay were consistent with results obtained from an in vivo acute oral toxicity study, both demonstrating that the combination of AfIP-1A and AfIP-1B do not exhibit any identifiable harmful impacts on mammalian cells.