Predictive testing for autoimmunity

R. Pieters, J. Ezendam, R. Bleumink, M. Bol, S. Nierkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Many chemicals, in particular drugs, cause systemic allergy or autoimmune-like disorders. Due to complex pathogenesis and strong dependence on genetic make-up, these immunotoxicological effects are usually missed in standard toxicity testing. Besides, animal studies that demonstrate chemically induced systemic allergy or autoimmune-like disorders are scarce. Here, animal models are presented that would fit into a predictive two-tiered strategy, designed to allow screening for immunostimulatory potential in the first tier, and more elaborate testing for allergenic or autoimmunogenic potential of selected chemicals in the second tier. The popliteal lymph node assay (PLNA), with or without reporter antigens, would fit in the first tier, and relevant route of exposure protocols with selected strains of mice or rats may be further developed to compose the second tier. To date, the relevant route of exposure models mentioned here (with 'normal' inbred mice and/or Brown Norway rats) has been tested with only a few chemicals, and the PLNA, although tested with over 100 chemicals, is not validated as yet. Conceivably, a major challenge in immunotoxicology is to incorporate the present knowledge on chemical-induced systemic allergy and autoimmunity in further development and validation of predictive models and strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Drugs
  • Popliteal lymph node assay
  • Reporter antigens
  • Systemic allergy


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