GMO’s sub-chronical toxicity (3 and 6 months) in rats: research for predictive biomarkers of biological effects
Project leader : Unité Toxalim, INRA UMR1331
Partners : INRA ; INSERM ; CNRS ; ANSES ; Universités (Toulouse 3, Rennes 1, Paris Descartes, Bordeaux, Lyon) ; Profilomic ; Methodomics ; Laberca ; Agilent
(online 10.3.2014, updated 07.21.2015)
This project is supported by a consortium gathering various scientific experts. Its goal is to determine if feeding of rats with genetically modified maize results in metabolic changes that could be linked to early effect biomarkers (measurable biological characteristic). The issue is to supply key data that can be used in different processes of risk assessment.
To do this, the GMO90plus proposes to optimize the predictive nature of the 90-day test of subchronic toxicology in rat. Proposed by European Agency EFSA, it is used today in the context of the procedures of safety assessment of genetically modified plants. Search for early biomarkers is based on one hand on a six-month feeding trial, and on the other hand on a strong interaction with running European funded projects (FP7) GRACE (3-months and year feeding trials) and G-TwYST (3-months and 2-year feeding trials).
The consortium chose maize as genetically modified food because it comes at the outset of the second GM plant currently used and produced at the global level for food purposes. It was also chosen for ease of comparison with both european projects.
Two genetically modified types of corn have been selected:
- maize MON810, expressing the insecticidal protein of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt toxin), because of its use in the GRACE research project;
- maize NK603, resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, because of its use in the project G-TwYST.
In the frame of this research, samples of organs, urine, and blood are taken during six months in rats fed with GMO plants (30 rats of each sex per diet) and control rats, to find biomarkers by techniques «omics» broadband (metabolomics and transcriptomics).
The results are then analysed by specialists of physio-pathology, in particular of hepato-gastro-intestinal, reproductive, and urinary systems.
Biomarkers of interest will be identified and validated by the consortium in close relationship with the coordinators of the other related projects of the FP7. Biological and pathophysiological data will benefit from the games of data from GRACE and G-TwYST programs that follow rats of the same strain. All these data will be freely accessible on a website.
The originality of this project is to associate different stakeholders (associations, companies, trade union) at the key stages of the protocol.
Find above links about the project :
- Description of GMO90+ (PDF in french)
- Article "The GMO90+ project: absence of evidence for biologically meaningful effects of genetically modified maize based-diets on Wistar rats after 6-months feeding comparative trial" published in Toxicological Sciences (10 December 2018)
- Press release (in french)