Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Veterinary Physiology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology (Veterinary Medical Sciences)

First Advisor

Jay C. Means


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) have been demonstrated to affect signal transduction in higher vertebrates. In this research, the freshwater species of fish, Lepomis macrochirus (bluegill) was used to test the effects of a 14-day diet of PAH on lymphocyte signal transduction. PAH tested included: 2-aminoanthracene (2-AA), 2-methylnaphthalene (2-MN), 9,10-dimethylanthracene (9,10-DMA), and a mixture of these three compounds (MIX). Individual compounds were tested at a total PAH dose of 3.1 $\pm$ 0.01mg over the 14 day period. The MIX diet was a total PAH dose of 0.13 $\pm$ 0.01mg 2-AA, 0.19 + 0.01mg 9,10-DMA, and 0.22 $\pm$ 0.02mg 2-MN over the 14 day period. The results of these studies show that 2-AA and 2-MN stimulate cell proliferation. 9,10-DMA and MIX were demonstrated to suppress cell proliferation. Intracellular baseline calcium is reduced as a result of these PAH diets, possibly as a step prior to cell death. All PAH compounds tested are immunomodulatory to bluegill lymphocytes. The immunomodulatory effects demonstrated in this study as a result of the PAH diets are consistent with alterations to signal transduction. Specific signal transduction pathways affected by these PAH are indicated, but not specifically identified in this work.