20/09/2016 - OECD launched a new Series on Adverse Outcome Pathways on i-Library
OECD launched its knowledge base on Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) in collaboration with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the European Commission Joint Research Centre in 2014. Two years later, the first five endorsed AOPs have been published in a new OECD Series on Adverse Outcome Pathways, available free of charge on the OECD public website. These publications are the result of joint efforts between AOP developers and AOP reviewers through an established OECD AOP development and review process. The first publication in the Series proposes a user guide for developing AOPs.
In the future, the publication of AOPs is likely to happen on a yearly basis, following the cycle of annual reviews and publications.
An AOP on the AOP Wiki is essentially a living document and may be regularly updated, since AOP development is based on crowdsourcing using the collaborative Wiki platform. An AOP published in the new OECD Series corresponds to an advanced snapshot-version of the AOP that has been thoroughly discussed and reviewed by the scientific community in accordance with OECD procedures.
WHAT IS AN ADVERSE OUTCOME PATHWAY
The OECD launched a new programme on the development of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) in 2012. An AOP is an analytical construct that describes a sequential chain of causally linked events at different levels of biological organisation that lead to an adverse health or ecotoxicological effect (see Figure). AOPs are the central element of a toxicological knowledge framework being built to support chemical risk assessment based on mechanistic reasoning.
Figure: Schematic representation of the Adverse Outcome Pathway illustrated with reference to a number of pathways
The AOP development programme addresses the needs of:
This video explains the OECD work on Adverse Outcome Pathways and scientific developents in this area.
The OECD co-ordinates its activities with the WHO/IPCS work on Mode of Action, as the AOP concept and the Mode of Action are closely related.
ABOUT THE AOP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
|Guidance, template, format available
|AOP project proposal form|
Note: With experience gained from the AOP developers and the development of the Users' handbook, parts of the Guidance Document below have become obsolete. An updated version will be available in 2016.
(Series No. 184, Series on Testing and Assessment)
(Series No. 168, Series on Testing and Assessment)
Project proposals for developing an AOP can be sent to the OECD Secretariat using the submission of proposals form (word file). Government representatives, academic experts, industry experts, non-governmental organisations, scientific societies, etc. can submit project proposals. The National Coordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme are available for queries, and should be informed about proposals submitted.
Project proposals are reviewed twice a year and included in the AOP workplan if justified. Browse the list of projects already in the workplan.
The AOP development and review process is illustrated below.
The AOP review process
The AOP development Programme is overseen by the Extended Advisory Group on Molecular Screening and Toxicogenomics (EAGMST). EAGMST members are nominated by their National Coordinators; they play an active role in the development of AOPs, as well as in the internal review and approval process.
The review process is split in two phases, an internal review and an external review, followed by endorsement by the Working of the National Coordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme (WNT) and by the Task Force on Hazard Assessment (TFHA), and ultimately, the publication of AOPs in the OECD Series on AOPs. The publication in the OECD Series does not preclude the publication by authors of the AOP in the scientific literature. The main objective of the internal review (conducted within the EAGMST, by EAGMST members) is to check compliance of the AOP structure and content with the User's Handbook and guidance principles, while the objective of the external review is to assess the scientific/technical content of the AOP. The external review is conducted by experts not involved in the development of the specific AOP, who have scientific expertise in the hazard area/endpoint covered by the AOP.
There is an annual cycle of the AOP reviews; the internal reviews generally take place between February and April, while the external reviews are generally organised between September and December. The work plan contains more than 100 AOPs, most of them are currently under developemnt, while some are in a review cycle. With the increased number of AOPs being developed, individual AOPs will naturally form networks,
with some AOPs sharing Key Events (KE) and Adverse Outcomes (AO). Forming AOP networks of intersecting and interacting KEs and Key Event Relationships (KERs) may ultimately prove critical for the robustness of prediction of AOs.
The AOP Knowledge Base (AOP KB) is a web-based platform which aims to bring together all knowledge on how chemicals can induce adverse effects, therefore providing a focal point for AOP development and dissemination. The project is jointly led by the OECD, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Center.