Workshop on the Use of Histopathology for In Vitro BCOP Eye Irritation Studies

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In the Spotlight

Workshop on the Use of Histopathology for In Vitro BCOP Eye Irritation Studies

Originally published in “IIVS Update,” Volume 7, Issue 2, Summer 2008. Reprinted with permission from Institute for In Vitro Sciences.

Published: September 17, 2008

IIVS has been the leader in using histology to expand the usefulness of the Bovine Cornea Opacity and Permeability (BCOP) assay for more than ten years. We have found that some eye irritants are not easily detected with the traditional BCOP endpoints of opacity and permeability. However the damage they cause can often be visualized using histopathology. IIVS has shared our findings through posters and presentations at various scientific meetings, and the importance of this approach has recently been recognized during the ICCVAM review of in vitro eye irritation assays. Their recommendation for future BCOP assay optimization was to “conduct histopathological evaluation of the corneal tissue, using a standardized scoring scheme.”

IIVS responded to this opportunity by organizing a Workshop on the Use of Histopathology in In Vitro BCOP Eye Irritation Studies. It brought together five veterinary pathologists knowledgeable in ocular lesions, along with experienced users of the BCOP assay, eye irritation researchers, and representatives from ICCVAM and NICEATM. The basis for much of the discussion was a BCOP histopathology operations manual originated by Dr. John Harbell (now of MaryKay Corporation) describing corneal preparation procedures, and documenting with photos many corneal histology changes induced by various classes of chemicals.

The workshop participants concluded that BCOP histopathology is an important addition for many product safety investigations, and can provide depth of injury information useful in determining regulatory hazard classifications. In addition, the participating pathologists volunteered to create a formal Pathology Working Group (PWG) which would agree on the appropriate nomenclature for BCOP corneal lesions, and suggest an acceptable reporting format for BCOP eye irritation histopathology.

A jointly-authored manuscript with the conclusions from the workshop will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and directly to ICCVAM as part of our mission to advance the use of alternative methods.

This workshop, part of the IIVS Education and Outreach program, was co-sponsored by the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF). We thank them for their understanding of the importance of this workshop for the advancement of alternative methods.