Identifying, naming and documenting of test and tool compound stocks

Marcel Leist
ALTEX 2021, 38 (1): 177-182
Handling of chemicals is an often-neglected area of test descriptions. Some important aspects are highlighted here, using methyl-phenyl-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), ferrous sulfate (FeSO4·xH2O) and ciguatoxin as example compounds. These are used to provide some background on aspects of acid-base equilibria, redox state, crystal water, natural compound mixtures, and chemical naming systems. Also, solvents and impurities are addressed, for instance concerning their often high (millimolar range) concentrations in assay buffers and cell culture media. The discussion of these aspects calls for a more standardized preparation of test solutions and a more extensive disclosure of the procedure in publications; it also suggests more flexibility in data mining, as compounds with clearly different identifiers may have been used to produce highly similar or fully identical test conditions. While this short overview is not intended as definitive guidance, it does demand more active involvement of all test developers and performers with these issues, and it calls for more transparent information disclosure concerning the preparation and use of test and control chemical solutions.

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