Project Details Glossary of terms used in immunotoxicology

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 May 2008
End Date:
01 March 2013
Division Name:
Chemistry and Human Health Division
Division No.:


To prepare a glossary defining terms in the specialized field of immunotoxicology, to supplement the recently published Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology (2nd ed.), and aid chemists in the interpretation of the output of project #1999-047-1-700, Immunochemistry of Metals.


In order to incorporate chemistry and merge toxicology into the terminology used by chemists, a Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology (2nd ed.) has recently been published (PAC 79: 1153-1344 (2007), project #2003-028-1-700 (Duffus)). This is supplemented with a Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicokinetics (PAC 76: 1033-1082 (2004), project #2000-034-2-700 (Nordberg)), now incorporated into the main Glossary, and a Glossary of Terms used in Ecotoxicology (project #2005-047-1-700 (Nordberg)). From these glossaries, approximately 40 concepts were selected for a more protracted discussion two explanatory dictionaries (project #2003-001-2-700 completed (PAC 79: 1583-1633) and project #2006-020-1-700 in progress).

Immunotoxicology of both organic and inorganic substances is presently of great interest in occupational and environmental health. In parallel to this glossary work described above, a project has been ongoing to explore the Immunochemistry of Metals (project #1999-047-1-700 (Templeton)). Three publications (PAC 76: 1255-1268 (2004), PAC 76: 1269-1281 (2004), and PAC 78: 2155-2168 (2006)) have dealt with the molecular mechanisms of immune sensitization caused by metals, and a critical evaluation of the use of two of the clinical tests potentially available for diagnosing speccific metal allergies, the lymphocyte proliferation test and cytokine profiling. Two additional manuscripts will deal with a third test (lymphocyte subpopulations) and a detailed look at the special case of mercury and the immune system. They will complete this project and are of interest in occupational and environmental health, and to chemists in general. This collection of projects helps to improve the image of chemistry in society by showing IUPAC’s concern for the safe use of chemicals for the benefit of humanity. They are designed to serve the current educational needs of chemists and other scientists and thus should be of global interest.

In preparing the immunochemical papers, it became clear that there is a large number of specialized terminology foreign to chemists and not included in the Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology (2nd ed.). In addition, a number of terms are somewhat ambiguous even within the discipline of immunology, and their precise definition will help to clarify regulatory and legislative discussion. We believe that this will add significantly to the value of the Immunosensitization project, as well as being an essential addition to the toxicology glossaries referred to above.

This project will promote unified understanding, use and practice of precise terminology in the toxicological and chemical sciences. It will also facilitate the development of effective channels of communication between and international chemistry community and the general public.


* project announcement published in Chem. Int. Sep 2008

June 2011 – A draft of the provisional recommendations is submitted to public review comments until 30 November 2011 ( provisional recommendations >>..provisional/abstract11/templeton_301111.html)

March 2013 – IUPAC glossary of terms used in immunotoxicology  (IUPAC Recommendations 2012) have been published in Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 5, pp. 1113-1295 ;

project completed

Last updated 15 April 2013