Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Vladislav A. Snitsarev

Committee Member

Elena Petroff

Committee Member

Ann Marie DiLorenzo


High-fructose com syrup has been used with increasing commonality in recent decades. During this interval there is strong evidence of increased occurrence of autoimmune disease. We hypothesized that increased glucose and fructose concentration activates T-cells. Using Jurkat T-cells as a model, we found that increased glucose and fructose concentration decreased Jurkat T-cell proliferation and death rates at pH 7.4 while at pH 7.2 the above effects did not reach significance. Cells in high glucose and fructose concentration formed clusters that were unbreakable by standard trituration techniques suggesting the expression of high-affinity adhesion molecules characteristic of T-cell activation; this effect was more prominent in fructose than glucose formulations. We conclude that exposure of activated T-cells to sustained higher sugar concentration may contribute to the development of autoimmune disease. This thesis continues to discuss suggested future directions of this research, its applications, and implications in the pathophysiology of autoimmune disease.

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