JRC scientists have used an Adverse Outcome Pathway approach to explain how some chemicals can potentially cause liver fibrosis in humans in order to support the development of non-animal approaches to chemical safety assessment.
Liver fibrosis is an important human health effect associated with chemical exposure and is thus an issue of regulatory concern. It results from chronic hepatic injury and may further lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer with considerable mortality. Animal models are currently used in regulatory testing for assessing potential target-organ toxicity of chemicals employed in a variety of sectors. However in vivo studies are undesirable due to ethical concerns and uncertainty in how predictive animal tests actually are of potential adverse effects in humans. Thus there is a strong impetuous to use mechanistic understanding of toxicological processes to inform the development of integrated approaches to testing and assessment of chemicals based on alternative methods such as in vitro assays and computer models.
Further details: The pathway from liver injury to liver fibrosis