In silico model for developmental toxicity: How to use QSAR models and interpret their results

Marco Marzo, Alessandra Roncaglioni, Sunil Kulkarni, Tara S. Barton-Maclaren, Emilio Benfenati

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Modeling developmental toxicity has been a challenge for (Q)SAR model developers due to the complexity of the endpoint. Recently, some new in silico methods have been developed introducing the possibility to evaluate the integration of existing methods by taking advantage of various modeling perspectives. It is important that the model user is aware of the underlying basis of the different models in general, as well as the considerations and assumptions relative to the specific predictions that are obtained from these different models for the same chemical. The evaluation on the predictions needs to be done on a case-by-case basis, checking the analogs (possibly using structural, physicochemical, and toxicological information); for this purpose, the assessment of the applicability domain of the models provides further confidence in the model prediction. In this chapter, we present some examples illustrating an approach to combine human-based rules and statistical methods to support the prediction of developmental toxicity; we also discuss assumptions and uncertainties of the methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)10643745


  • Developmental toxicity
  • OECD
  • Predictive reliability
  • QSAR
  • Similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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