Issue 6, 2021

Approaches in metabolomics for regulatory toxicology applications


Innovative methodological approaches are needed to conduct human health and environmental risk assessments on a growing number of marketed chemicals. Metabolomics is progressively proving its value as an efficient strategy to perform toxicological evaluations of new and existing substances, and it will likely become a key tool to accelerate chemical risk assessments. However, additional guidance with widely accepted and harmonized procedures is needed before metabolomics can be routinely incorporated in decision-making for regulatory purposes. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of metabolomic strategies that have been successfully employed in toxicity assessment as well as the most promising workflows in a regulatory context. First, we provide a general view of the different steps of regulatory toxicology-oriented metabolomics. Emphasis is put on three key elements: robustness of experimental design, choice of analytical platform, and use of adapted data treatment tools. Then, examples in which metabolomics supported regulatory toxicology outputs in different scenarios are reviewed, including chemical grouping, elucidation of mechanisms of toxicity, and determination of points of departure. The overall intention is to provide insights into why and how to plan and conduct metabolomic studies for regulatory toxicology purposes.

Graphical abstract: Approaches in metabolomics for regulatory toxicology applications

Article information

Article type
Tutorial Review
12 Nov 2020
22 Jan 2021
First published
09 Feb 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Analyst, 2021,146, 1820-1834

Approaches in metabolomics for regulatory toxicology applications

E. Olesti, V. González-Ruiz, M. F. Wilks, J. Boccard and S. Rudaz, Analyst, 2021, 146, 1820 DOI: 10.1039/D0AN02212H

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity