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Faculty Mentor

Matthew L. Beckman, Ph.D.


Manganese exposure to humans can be very toxic at a specific level. This toxicity causes symptoms that is very closely related to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Manganese is essential in life for metabolic pathways and cellular homeostasis and it is also a cofactor for many enzymes. Humans are exposed to it through air and water at a non-toxic level. One typical way that manganese can be exposed to at a toxic level is occupationally through mining, welding, and/or smelting. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, derived from metastatic cells found in bone marrow, will be used to test the toxicity of manganese on human cells. In order to do this, a dose response was done to see cell viability at an increasing concentration of manganese starting at 0 μM to 2000 μM of MnCl2*4H2O on undifferentiated cells. As the concentrations of manganese increased, a notable change was seen as the number of live cells decreased dramatically. After discovering that 1000 μM of manganese was the point at which it killed most of the cells and made them very unhealthy, these cells were then differentiated with retinoic acid and exposed to that concentration of manganese and observed at 24, 48, and 72 hours. The differentiated cells promoted survival of these cells and were less vulnerable to toxicity than the undifferentiated cells. These cells were then stained with MitoRed in order to look at the mitochondria using fluorescence microscopy. The manganese was seen to have an effect on the mitochondria as time went on. This helps us see what manganese does to the mitochondria and if there is anything that can be done to avoid mitochondrial dysfunction of these cells.

Publication Date



manganese, SH-SY5Y, toxicity



Manganese Toxicity on Cultured SH-SY5Y Cells