Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Biochemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Worlanyo Eric Gato


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are organic compounds that are created synthetically or found in partially burned oil, gasoline, and coal. 2-aminoanthracene (2AA) is a common example of a PAH and can affect lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and resulting in inflammatory problems and oxidative stress. The objective of the research project is to investigate oxidative stress in relation to diabetes in rats exposed to 2AA in utero and a high fat diet later in life. Pregnant dams were separated into treatment groups based on their dosages of 2AA; 0 mg/kg (control), 50 mg/kg (low), 100 mg/kg (high). During the gestation -postpartum period, the dams were fed a 2AA contaminated diet. Three months post wean the rats were assigned to regular rat food then a moderately high fat diet for six weeks. Adipose tissue from the rat’s abdomens were removed and protein levels, glucose concentration, lipase activity and total antioxidant capacity were measured. Protein levels in the treatment groups compared to the control were elevated. Glucose levels showed a significant reduction in the treatment groups. Lipase activity displayed increased activity between the treatment groups but not significant. Antioxidant capacity in the adipose tissue was slightly reduced in the treatment groups compared to controls. A gene expression analysis was also performed on the mRNA and the genes RGS16, DBP, and ABCB1B demonstrated an upregulation. In conclusion, it appears 2AA ingestion during gestation had a mild effect on oxidative stress in rat progeny.