Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Eric R Blough

Second Advisor

Simon Collier

Third Advisor

Guo-Zhang Zhu


As a non-metal oxide, yttrium oxide (Y2O3) nanoparticles have numerous applications in chemical synthesis, mechanical polishing and as additives to drugs, cosmetics, varnishes and food. Recent data have suggested that these particles are capable of inducing oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in human endothelial cell lines. To examine the potential mechanisms of yttrium oxide toxicity, human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells were exposed to 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 μM of Y2O3 nanoparticles for 12, 24, 36 or 48 hr. We hypothesized that exposure of HEK293 kidney cells to Y2O3 nanoparticles would be associated with increased evidence of intracellular oxidative stress and cell death. Our data suggested that exposure to Y2O3 nanoparticles was associated with time and dose dependent decrease in cell viability and evidence of increased cellular superoxide levels. Immunoblotting of protein isolates demonstrated that changes in cell viability were associated with alterations in protein kinase B (Akt), Bax / Bcl-2 and caspase-3 expression. Taken together, these data suggest that Y2O3 nanoparticle exposure may be associated with diminished cell viability and that these alterations are associated with increased oxidative stress and alterations in cellular signaling.


Cells - Analysis



Included in

Cell Biology Commons