Physiology-based toxicokinetic modelling in the frame of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative
Given the opportunities provided by internal dosimetry modelling in the interpretation of human biomonitoring (HBM) data, the assessment of the links between exposure to chemicals and observed HBM data can be effectively supported by PBTK modelling. This paper gives a comprehensive review of available human PBTK models for compounds selected as a priority by the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU). We highlight their advantages and deficiencies and suggest steps for advanced internal dose modelling. The review of the available PBTK models highlighted the conceptual differences between older models compared to the ones developed recently, reflecting commensurate differences in research questions. Due to the lack of coordinated strategies for deriving useful biomonitoring data for toxicokinetic properties, significant problems in model parameterisation still remain; these are further increased by the lack of human toxicokinetic data due to ethics issues. Finally, questions arise as well as to the extent they are really representative of interindividual variability. QSARs for toxicokinetic properties is a complementary approach for PBTK model parameterisation, especially for data poor chemicals. This approach could be expanded to model chemico-biological interactions such as intestinal absorption and renal clearance; this could serve the development of more complex generic PBTK models that could be applied to newly derived chemicals. Another gap identified is the framework for mixture interaction terms among compounds that could eventually interact in metabolism. From the review it was concluded that efforts should be shifted toward the development of generic multi-compartmental and multi-route models, supported by targeted biomonitoring coupled with parameterisation by both QSAR approach and experimental (in-vivo and in-vitro) data for newly developed and data poor compounds.
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