Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Eric R. Blough

Second Advisor

David S. Mallory

Third Advisor

Guo-Zhang Zhu


Sepsis is a serious life threatening medical emergency which, if not treated properly, oftentimes results in organ failure and death. Current sepsis treatment protocols are largely centered on the use of antibiotics and supportive care. Recent studies have suggested that antibiotics fail to be effective for sepsis treatment when administered during hypo-dynamic phase of sepsis that is usually characterized by the presence of a cytokine storm. As such, there is an urgent need to develop novel therapeutic drugs that target the inflammatory cytokines that are secreted as a result of increased reactive oxygen species. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2) have been shown to act as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent. More recently, they have been shown to attenuate polymicrobial insult-induced mortality in Sprague Dawley rats. Here, we investigated whether CeO2 nanoparticles can attenuate splenic damage in this animal model of sepsis. A single intravenous dose (0.5 mg/kg) of CeO2 nanoparticles attenuated the sepsis-induced loss in splenic cell structural integrity. These improvements in splenic structure were accompanied by a decrease in expression of late phase pro-inflammatory cytokine high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) along with reduced bacterial load in the blood and peritoneal fluid of septic animals. Taken together these findings suggest that CeO2 nanoparticles can be used to attenuate polymicrobial insult-induced splenic damage in Sprague dawley rats.


Septicemia -- Treatment -- Research.