[Critical analysis of reference studies on aluminium-based adjuvants toxicokinetics].
Ann Pharm Fr. 2017 Jul ;75(4):245-256. Epub 2017 May 31. PMID: 28576261
We reviewed the three reference toxicokinetic studies commonly used to suggest innocuity of aluminum (Al)-based adjuvants. A single experimental study was carried out using isotopicAl (Flarend et al., 1997). This study ignored adjuvant cell capture. It was conducted over a short period of time (28 days) and used only two rabbits per adjuvant. At the endpoint, Al retention was 78% for aluminum phosphate and 94% for aluminum hydroxide, both results being incompatible with quick elimination of vaccine-derived Al in urines. Tissue distribution analysis omitted three important retention sites: the injected muscle, the draining lymph node and bone. Two theoretical studies have evaluated the potential risk of vaccine Al in infants, by reference to the oral Minimal Risk Level (MRL) extrapolated from animal studies. Keith et al., 2002 used a too high MRL (2mg/kg/d), an erroneous model of 100% immediate absorption of vaccine Al, and did not consider renal and blood-brain barrier immaturity. Mitkus et al. (2011) only considered absorbed Al, with erroneous calculations of absorption duration. They ignored particulate Al captured by immune cells, which play a role in systemic diffusion and the neuro-inflammatory potential of the adjuvant. MRL they used was both inappropriate (oral Al vs injected adjuvant) and far too high (1mg/kg/d) with regard to experimental studies of Al-induced memory and behavioral changes. Both paucity and serious weaknesses of these studies strongly suggest that novel experimental studies of Al adjuvants toxicokinetics should be performed on the long-term, including post-natal and adult exposures, to ensure innocuity and restore population confidence in Al-containing vaccines.