Differential Effects of Doses and Forms of Dietary Selenium on Immune Cell Numbers in the Skin of Ultraviolet-irradiated and Unirradiated Mice

Roderick C McKenzie, Geoff J. Beckett, Steven McLean, John Arthur, Joanna C. Macve, Fergus Nicol, Forbes Howie, Mary Norval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of three different doses of dietary L-selenomethionine (SM) and sodium selenite (SS) on skin selenium (Se) content, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, Langerhans cell (LC) and mast cell numbers in ultraviolet radiation-B (UVB)-irradiated and unirradiated C3H/HeN mice was determined. After weaning, groups of mice were given Se-deficient, Se-adequate, or Se-high diets. Six weeks later, some animals in each group were exposed to a single UVB dose (acute), while others were exposed three times weekly for the following 40 weeks (chronic). The skin Se content and GPx activity increased in all the Se-supplemented groups, and the latter was not altered by UVB exposure. Generally, the Se-containing diets caused an increase in LC numbers at 6 weeks and a further rise at 40 weeks, but did not prevent the loss induced by acute or chronic UVB radiation. Skin mast cell numbers were highest in animals fed the Se-deficient diet after 6 and 40 weeks. Acute and chronic UVB radiation decreased the mast cell number and dietary Se did not prevent the reduction. While the present study shows that Se plays an important role in governing the number of LCs and mast cells in the skin, no protective effect against the immunomodulating properties of UVB radiation on these cell types was observed. However, this conclusion may only apply to the experimental conditions chosen, and additional studies at different Se dosages and reduced intensities of chronic UVB exposure are required to confirm the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jun 2008
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Langerhans cells
  • selenium
  • mast cells
  • glutathione peroxidase
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • glutathione-peroxidase
  • cancer prevention
  • radiation
  • supplementation
  • expression
  • carcinoma
  • humans
  • death
  • Langerhans cells
  • Selenium
  • Mast cells
  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • Ultraviolet radiation


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