Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Chemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Eric W Gato


Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects many people, and it’s thought that environmental exposure to certain compounds may increase its proliferation. In this study, we examine the dietary effects of 2-aminoanthracene (2AA), a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), in rats, specifically as it relates to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants in living systems; it has been shown to contribute to type-1 diabetes. To accomplish the study objectives rats were divided into three dietary treatment groups, control (0 mg/kg-2AA), low dose (50 mg/kg-2AA) and high dose (100 mg/kg-2AA). Rats were fed 2AA for three months, and then euthanized using carbon dioxide. Various tissues including the liver and were flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen. To determine 2AA effects in the liver, a portion of the liver was homogenized in phosphate buffered saline solution. The supernatant was analyzed for serum albumin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), IgA protein, and antioxidants. Furthermore, genes such as Pdx1, Sod1, Gpx1, Prdx6, Ncf2, Duox1 and Ptgs2 typically used to measure cellular oxidative stress were quantified. The expressions of these genes in the liver show the upregulation of Sod1 and Prdx6, and downregulation of Ptgs2 in treated groups. AST activity was marginally increased in treated groups while the albumin concentration was elevated in the 50 mg/kg group and reduced in the 100 mg/kg-2AA animals. IgA levels were slightly elevated while antioxidant levels were reduced in treated groups. Taken together, these results show that ingestion of 2AA may produce hepatic oxidative stress.