Influence of co-dosed lipids from biota extracts on the availability of chemicals in in vitro cell-based bioassays
Extraction of chemicals from biota leads to co-extraction of lipids. When dosing such extracts into in vitro bioassays, co-dosed lipids act as an additional phase that can reduce the bioavailability of the chemicals and the apparent sensitivity of the assay. Equilibrium partitioning between medium, cells, and co-dosed lipids was described with an existing equilibrium partitioning model for cell-based bioassays extended by an additional lipid phase. We experimentally investigated the influence of co-dosed lipids on the effects elicited by four test chemicals of different hydrophobicity in two bioassays, indicative of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and oxidative stress response (AREc32). The partitioning model explained the effect of the test chemicals in the presence of spiked triolein within a factor of 0.33-5.83 between the measured and predicted effect concentration (EC). We applied the model to marine mammal blubber extracted with silicone. Extracts dosed in the AREc32 bioassay showed a linear increase of apparent EC with increasing lipid fraction. The partitioning model was used to interpret the role of the co-extracted lipid. A quantitative lipid correction of bioassay results in the presence of co-dosed lipids was possible for known compounds and defined mixtures, while we could only estimate a range for mixtures of unknown chemicals.