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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



EDCs are commonly thought to bind or interfere with estrogen, androgen, progesterone, thyroid, and retinoid receptors. Oxybenzone is considered to be an endocrine-disrupting chemical and approximately 97% of people in the United States were found to have BP3 in their urine. This thesis will address how BP3 affects the innate immune system, in particular myeloid cells. My Master’s thesis aims to address two main overarching questions. Does BP3 alter macrophage polarization, cytokine/chemokine secretion, the viability in vitro? Does exposure to BP3 in vivo during pregnancy/lactation affect the RNA expression of cytokines and immunosuppressant factors associated with the myeloid population? It is unknown how BP3 impacts immune subpopulations in a neoplastic setting. Additionally, it is important to consider how these effects may contribute to malignant behaviors. My thesis evaluates the effects of BP3 on the Raw 264.7 cell lines as well as tumor tissues from mice exposed to BP3 during pregnancy and lactation. We hypothesized that BP3 exposures induce changes in myeloid cell interactions in the immune system through ER-mediated mechanisms. We anticipated that BP3 would increase the growth and migration of 4T1 cells through indirect signals imparted by myeloid cell populations. We also hypothesized that there will be a decrease in T cell proliferation following BP3 exposure and an alteration in gene expression consistent with a shift from Th1 to Th2. Finally, we expected that BP3 exposure would increase the number of myeloid cells in mouse tumors. Our research shows that oxybenzone appears to enhance the pro-inflammatory state of RAW264.7 cells and may result in the release of unidentified factors that can impact 4T1 cell anchorage-independent cell growth in these pro-inflammatory conditions. BP3 may also impact the metabolic activity of recovering RAW264.7 cells following LPS-induced activity. Additionally, BP3 may impact the release of factors from macrophages that control T cell activation-induced proliferation. By using the p53-/- mouse tumors we found that exposure to 3mg/kg/day BP3 during pregnancy and lactation did alter IDO1 RNA expression but this was not associated with markers of immunosuppressive cell types.


First Advisor

Laura N. Vandenberg

Second Advisor

Sallie S. Schneider

Third Advisor

Carrie J. Nobles

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.