Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pharmacology and Toxicology

Degree Program

Pharmacology and Toxicology, MS

Committee Chair

Arteel, Gavin

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Cai, Lu

Committee Member

Cai, Lu

Committee Member

States, J. Christopher

Committee Member

Merchant, Michael

Committee Member

Neal, Rachel

Author's Keywords

in utero; metabolic syndrome; NAFLD; arsenic; cadmium; gender differences


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of diseases affecting < 30% of adults. Although obesity is a major risk for the development of MetS, it does not account for all cases, suggesting contribution of other risk factors. We hypothesized that early life exposure to arsenic (As) or cadmium (Cd) may represent such a risk. The purpose of this study was to characterize a model to discern the effects of early life exposures to Cd and As on high fat diet (HFD)-induced MetS. Adult C57BL/6J mice were exposed to control or metals containing drinking water. Pregnant dams and offspring were continuously exposed to the same toxicants as their parents. At weaning, offspring were fed LFD or HFD and sacrificed 10 or 24 weeks later. Metal exposure caused time- and sex-dependent alterations in HFD-induced variables of liver damage. The initial results suggest that these toxicants enhanced obesity-induced liver injury.