Quantitative In Vitro-to-In Vivo Extrapolation for Mixtures: A Case Study of Superfund Priority List Pesticides.
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In vitro cell-based toxicity testing methods generate large amounts of data informative for risk-based evaluations. To allow extrapolation of the quantitative outputs from cell-based tests to the equivalent exposure levels in humans, reverse toxicokinetic modeling is used to conduct in vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) from in vitro effective concentrations to in vivo oral dose equivalents. IVIVE modeling approaches for individual chemicals are well-established; however, the potential implications of chemical-to-chemical interactions in mixture settings on IVIVE remain largely unexplored. We hypothesized that chemical coexposures could modulate both protein binding efficiency and hepatocyte clearance of the chemicals in a mixture, which would in turn affect the quantitative IVIVE toxicokinetic parameters. To test this hypothesis, we used 20 pesticides from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Substance Priority List, both individually and as equimolar mixtures, and investigated the concentration-dependent effects of chemical interactions on in vitro toxicokinetic parameters. Plasma protein binding efficiency was determined by using ultracentrifugation, and hepatocyte clearance was estimated in suspensions of cryopreserved primary human hepatocytes. We found that for single chemicals, the protein binding efficiencies were similar at different test concentrations. In a mixture, however, both protein binding efficiency and hepatocyte clearance were affected. When IVIVE was conducted using mixture-derived toxicokinetic data, more conservative estimates of activity-to-exposure ratios were produced as compared with using data from single chemical experiments. Because humans are exposed to mixtures of chemicals, this study is significant as it demonstrates the importance of incorporating mixture-derived parameters into IVIVE for in vitro bioactivity data in order to accurately prioritize risks and facilitate science-based decision-making.