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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Validation of the Rat Limb Bud Micromass Test in the International ECVAM Validation Study on Three In Vitro Embryotoxicity Tests

Horst Spielmann, Elke Genschow, Nigel A. Brown, Aldert H. Piersma, Aart Verhoef, Marielle Q.I. Spanjersberg, Hannele Huuskonen, Francoise Paillard6 and Andrea Seiler

A detailed report is presented on the performance of the rat limb bud micromass (MM) test in a European Centre for the Evaluation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM)-sponsored formal validation study on three in vitro tests for embryotoxicity. Twenty coded test chemicals, classified as non-embryotoxic, weakly embryotoxic or strongly embryotoxic on the basis of their in vivo effects on animals and/or humans, were tested in four laboratories. The outcome showed that the MM test is an experimentally validated test, which holds promise for use for identifying strongly embryotoxic chemicals, but which needs to be improved before it can be recommended for use for regulatory purposes.