Animal Models in Toxicology

DrJackBud drjackbud at aol.com
Wed Feb 14 13:35:01 EST 1996

In article <Pine.OSF.3.91.960212154239.10654B-100000 at duke.usask.ca>, Jason
Ram <ramjoshi at duke.usask.ca> writes:

>Animal models are useful as they usually give good 
>preliminary indications whether a drug has the potential for its ultimate

>use in humans.  

Do you really mean "animal models" or are you essentially saying "several
animal species"?

The miners who carried canaries into the mines to warn them of the
potential for asphyxiation were using true animal models because by
independent observations, the consequences were the same in both the birds
and in humans.  But, with a new material, one usually doesn't know how
humans will respond.  I've received disagreement from Whitehead on this
who says we really don't have a chicken and egg problem.  In Whitehead's
post he says that we test in rats (I would say rodents because I've used
mice), dogs and primates - I've have also used rabbits, guinea pigs and
hamsteres).  I've even used several different strains of a particular
rodent on occasion.  After crossing my fingers, I would recommend human
studies and more likely than not, have restless nights until the clinical
study was over; especially for clinical studies where humans were given
increasing doses until an effect was seen.

I agree that the preliminary animal studies do give indications for use in
humans, but only crude indications.

1.  Are there ways where we might make the transition from the known
(animal toxicity) to the unknown (responses in humans)?

2.  How would you address somethin old i.e., something that is in use, to
which humans aare already exposed but for which there is little
toxicological information?

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