Sensitivity of different generations and developmental stagesin studies on reproductive toxicity
Numerous studies on reproductive toxicity are expected to be necessary under the EU program on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Therefore, it is important to analyse existing testing strategies including also the recently implemented extended one-generation reproduction toxicity study (EOGRTS, OECD guideline 443). For this purpose the responsiveness of the different generations and developmental stages in studies on reproductive toxicity is analysed and critical targets of reproductive toxicity are identified by using the Fraunhofer FeDTex database. The F1 generation is identified as most responsive generation in more than 50% of one-generation and multi-generation reproduction studies. Within the F1 generation the adult stage is mostly affected compared to the prenatal or postnatal stage. The target analysis in F1 has revealed alterations in bodyweight as highly sensitive for all developmental stages. Other important targets are the liver, kidney, testes, prostate, sperm parameters as well as developmental landmarks. The findings in the F2 generation have shown a higher responsiveness than F1 only in 3% of the studies. Although in 29 studies new effects are observed in F2 offspring compared to F1 irrespective of dose levels, overall no severe new effects have emerged that would change classification and labelling and justify an F1 mating. The presented data support the importance of F1 for risk assessment and demonstrate that the study design of the EOGRTS is a suitable alternative to two-generation studies. However, compared to a conventional one-generation study the EOGRTS may identify additional effects but will change risk assessment with respect to NOELs only in rare cases.