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Toxics 2015, 3(4), 342-369; doi:10.3390/toxics3040342

Additivity and Interactions in Ecotoxicity of Pollutant Mixtures: Some Patterns, Conclusions, and Open Questions

1
Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid E-28049, Spain
2
Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid E-28871, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marco Vighi
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 9 September 2015 / Accepted: 23 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mixtures on Ecosystems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [525 KB, uploaded 25 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

Understanding the effects of exposure to chemical mixtures is a common goal of pharmacology and ecotoxicology. In risk assessment-oriented ecotoxicology, defining the scope of application of additivity models has received utmost attention in the last 20 years, since they potentially allow one to predict the effect of any chemical mixture relying on individual chemical information only. The gold standard for additivity in ecotoxicology has demonstrated to be Loewe additivity which originated the so-called Concentration Addition (CA) additivity model. In pharmacology, the search for interactions or deviations from additivity (synergism and antagonism) has similarly captured the attention of researchers over the last 20 years and has resulted in the definition and application of the Combination Index (CI) Theorem. CI is based on Loewe additivity, but focused on the identification and quantification of synergism and antagonism. Despite additive models demonstrating a surprisingly good predictive power in chemical mixture risk assessment, concerns still exist due to the occurrence of unpredictable synergism or antagonism in certain experimental situations. In the present work, we summarize the parallel history of development of CA, IA, and CI models. We also summarize the applicability of these concepts in ecotoxicology and how their information may be integrated, as well as the possibility of prediction of synergism. Inside the box, the main question remaining is whether it is worthy to consider departures from additivity in mixture risk assessment and how to predict interactions among certain mixture components. Outside the box, the main question is whether the results observed under the experimental constraints imposed by fractional approaches are a de fide reflection of what it would be expected from chemical mixtures in real world circumstances. View Full-Text
Keywords: mixtures; additivity; synergism mixtures; additivity; synergism
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rodea-Palomares, I.; González-Pleiter, M.; Martín-Betancor, K.; Rosal, R.; Fernández-Piñas, F. Additivity and Interactions in Ecotoxicity of Pollutant Mixtures: Some Patterns, Conclusions, and Open Questions. Toxics 2015, 3, 342-369.

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