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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The OECD program to validate the rat Hershberger bioassay to screen compounds for in vivo androgen and antiandrogen responses. Phase 1: use of a potent agonist and a potent antagonist to test the standardized protocol.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has completed phase 1 of the Hershberger validation intended to identify in vivo activity of suspected androgens and antiandrogens. Seventeen laboratories from 7 countries participated in phase 1, and results were collated and evaluated by the OECD with the support of an international committee of experts. Five androgen-responsive tissues (ventral prostate, paired seminal vesicles and coagulating glands, levator ani and bulbocavernosus muscles, glans penis, and paired Cowper's or bulbourethral glands) were evaluated. The standardized protocols used selected doses of a reference androgen, testosterone propionate (TP), and an antiandrogen, flutamide (FLU). All laboratories successfully detected TP-stimulated increases in androgen-responsive tissue weight and decreases in TP-stimulated tissue weights when FLU was co-administered. The standardized protocols performed well under a variety of conditions (e.g., strain, diet, housing protocol, bedding). There was good agreement among laboratories with regard to the TP doses inducing significant increases in tissue weights and the FLU doses decreasing TP-stimulated tissue weights. Several additional procedures (e.g., weighing of the dorsolateral prostate and fixation of tissues before weighing) and serum component measurements (e.g., luteinizing hormone) were also included by some laboratories to assess their potential utility. The results indicated that the OECD Hershberger protocol was robust, reproducible, and transferable across laboratories. Based on this phase 1 validation study, the protocols have been refined, and the next phase of the OECD validation program will test the protocol with selected doses of weak androgen agonists, androgen antagonists, a 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, and chemicals having no androgenic activity.[1]


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