In next generation risk assessment (NGRA), the Dietary Comparator Ratio (DCR) can be used to assess the safety of chemical exposures to humans in a 3R compliant approach. The DCR compares the Exposure Activity Ratio (EAR) for exposure to a compound of interest (EARtest) to the EAR for an established safe exposure level to a comparator compound (EARcomparator), acting by the same mode of action. It can be concluded that the exposure to a test compound is safe at a corresponding DCR ≤ 1. In this study, genistein (GEN) was selected as a comparator compound by comparison of reported safe internal exposures to GEN to its BMCL05, as no effect level, the latter determined in the in vitro estrogenic MCF7/Bos proliferation, T47D ER-CALUX, and U2OS ERα-CALUX assay. The EARcomparator was defined using the BMCL05 and EC50 values from the 3 in vitro assays and subsequently used to calculate the DCRs for exposures to 14 test compounds, predicting the (absence of) estrogenicity. The predictions were evaluated by comparison to reported in vivo estrogenicity in humans for these exposures. The results obtained support in the DCR approach as an important animal-free new approach methodology (NAM) in NGRA and show how in vitro assays can be used to define DCR values.
By Tessa C. A. van Tongeren, Si Wang, Paul L. Carmichael, Ivonne M. C. M. Rietjens & Hequn Li