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Cutaneous challenge with chemical warfare agents in the SKH-1 hairless mouse. (I) Development of a model for screening studies in skin decontamination and protection

F Dorandeu, L Taysse, I Boudry, A Foquin, F Hérodin, J Mathieu, S Daulon, C Cruz, G Lallement
Human & Experimental Toxicology 2011, 30 (6): 470-90
20547654
Exposure to lethal chemical warfare agents (CWAs) is no longer only a military issue due to the terrorist threat. Among the CWAs of concern are the organophosphorus nerve agent O-ethyl-S-(2[di-isopropylamino]ethyl)methyl-phosphonothioate (VX) and the vesicant sulfur mustard (SM). Although efficient means of decontamination are available, most of them lose their efficacy when decontamination is delayed after exposure of the bare skin. Alternatively, CWA skin penetration can be prevented by topical skin protectants. Active research in skin protection and decontamination is thus paramount. In vivo screening of decontaminants or skin protectants is usually time consuming and may be expensive depending on the animal species used. We were thus looking for a suitable, scientifically sound and cost-effective model, which is easy to handle. The euthymic hairless mouse Crl: SKH-1 (hr/hr) BR is widely used in some skin studies and has previously been described to be suitable for some experiments involving SM or SM analogs. To evaluate the response of this species, we studied the consequences of exposing male anaesthetized SKH-1 mice to either liquid VX or to SM, the latter being used in liquid form or as saturated vapours. Long-term effects of SM burn were also evaluated. The model was then used in the companion paper (Taysse et al.(1)).

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