We are pleased to invite you to take part in the S&T course
“Training on the use of the whole blood assay to assess immunomodulatory compounds”
Organized by Università degli Studi di Milano (UMIL)
November 8-12, 2021
An online event (Microsoft Teams), free of charge, dedicated to all interested researchers
The immune system has the responsibility of providing protection against foreign invaders while not reacting to self-antigens. The responses required to eliminate a threat occur at the same time that responses to a non-threat must be quelled. Immunity can be considered a continuum along which the actions of initiating a response, resolving a response, or not responding at all are carefully balanced to achieve immune homeostasis. Adverse effects on the immune system can lead to morbidity or mortality; suppression of immune responses renders an individual susceptible to infections or cancer, while enhancement can result in hypersensitivity or autoimmune disease.
Exposure to immunotoxic compounds can have serious adverse health consequences affecting responses to both communicable and non-communicable diseases. It is therefore important to understand the immunotoxic potential of xenobiotics and the risk they pose to humans. Alongside traditional animal studies, alternative approaches are becoming available. The understanding of the Adverse Outcome Pathways underlying immunotoxicity, can support chemical risk assessment based on mechanistic reasoning (OECD, 2020a): five AOPs on immunotoxicity in the OECD work plan are on-going. Key characteristics of immunotoxicity have been defined and the manuscript is in writing. In silico models, e.g. Universal Immune System Simulator is currently under evaluation at EURL-ECVAM for its applicability to chemicals. By using a tier approach, in vitro methods could provide the means to assess the hazard posed by direct immunotoxicants. After an introduction to immunotoxicity, the course will focus on the presentation and discussion on the application and interpretation of in vitro immunotoxicity assays, mainly covering immunosuppression and the use of the whole blood assay, and definition of a tiered approach to testing and assessment.
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