Jena Currier

Graduate Student

Contact Information

Jenna Currier


  • B.S., Biochemistry, University of Delaware, 2008
  • Joined the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program in 2008
  • Adviser:  Myroslav Styblo

Research Interests

Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) is associated with a variety of diseases, including cancer, hypertension and diabetes. Current evidence suggests that the toxic methylated trivalent metabolites of iAs, methylarsonous acid (MAsIII) and dimethylarsinous acid (DMAsIII), play a key role in the etiology of these diseases. Both MAsIII and DMAsIII have been detected in urine of subjects exposed to iAs. However, the rapid oxidation of DMAsIII and, to a lesser extent, MAsIII leads to difficulties in the analysis of these metabolites in samples of urine collected in field studies. Results of our previous work indicate that MAsIII and DMAsIII are relatively stable in a reducing cellular environment, suggesting that analysis of cells or tissues rather than urine, could be used to characterize internal exposures to these toxic metabolites. In the present study, we used the oxidation state-specific hydride generation-cryotrapping-atomic absorption spectroscopy (HG-CT-AAS) to examine presence and stability of MAsIII and DMAsIII in livers of mice exposed to iAs in drinking water. Liver homogenates were prepared in deionized water and stored at either 0°C or -80°C for up to 22 days. Tri- and pentavalent metabolites of iAs were analyzed in homogenates directly (without chemical digestion); analysis of homogenates digested in phosphoric acid was used to determine the recovery of As species during the direct analyses. In fresh homogenates, MAsIII and DMAsIII represented 12% and 45% of total As, respectively. Both MAsIII and DMAsIII were stable in homogenates stored at -80°C. In contrast, DMAsIII in homogenates stored at 0°C began to oxidize to its pentavalent counterpart after 1 day, whereas MAsIII remained stable for at least 3 weeks under these conditions. At least 95% of all As species were recovered by the direct analyses, suggesting that this method is suitable for quantitative analysis of iAs metabolites, including MAsIII and DMAsIII in tissues or cells collected in laboratory and population-based studies.


Currier, J.M., Svoboda, M., Matousek, T., Dedina, J., and Styblo, M. (2011) “Direct analysis and stability of methylated trivalent arsenic metabolites in cells and tissues. Metallomics DOI: 10.1039/c1mt00095k.

Cheng, W-Y., Currier, J.M., Bromberg, P.A., Silbajoris, R., Simmons, S.O., and Samet, J.M. (2011) Linking oxidative events to inflammatory and adaptive gene expression induced by exposure to an organic PM component. Manuscript submitted for publication (EHP).

Currier, J.M., Svoboda, M., de Moraes, D.P., Matousek, T., Dedina, J., and Styblo, M. (2011) Direct analysis of methylated trivalent arsenicals in mouse liver by hydride generation-cryotrapping-atomic absorption spectroscopy. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 24, 478-480.

Del Razo, L.M., Garcia-Vargas, G.G., Valenzuela, O.L., Hernandez Castellanos, E., Sanchez-Pena, L.C., Currier, J.M., Drobna, Z., Loomis, D., and Styblo, M. (2010) Exposure to arsenic in drinking water and prevalence of diabetes in the Zimapan and Lagunera regions in Mexico. Environmental Health 10:73

Personal Interests

Biking, Bike Mechanics, Art, Yoga, Dogs