Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David Reinhold

Second Advisor

Dr. Jay Means

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Stapleton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Cancer researchers are interested in identifying the environmental causes and synergistic influences of different carcinogens. It is important to examine the combined effect of multiple carcinogens since this is a more realistic representation of the true environmental situation in which we are exposed daily. Our study has reported that pretreating human fibroblasts with nickel subsulfide followed by the simultaneous treatment with both nickel subsulfide and benzo[a]pyrene diolepoxide (BPDE) can protect human fibroblasts from the mutagenic effects of BPDE. These results correlate well with our previous chromium-BPDE co-treatment work, suggesting a transition metal dependent protective effect. This protective effect was dependent on the 46 hours preincubation with nickel subsulfide since the effect was not seen when cells were simply treated for 2 hours with both carcinogens. This antagonistic effect was also shown to be dependent upon the concentration of nickel subsulfide. Addition of vitamin E was able to reverse protective effect suggesting an oxidative stress dependent mechanism. The antagonistic effect on mutant frequency appeared to be species specific since it was not observed when Chinese hamster fibroblasts replaced normal human fibroblasts in the protocol described above.

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Chemistry Commons