The effects of selenium depletion and repletion on the metabolism of thyroid hormones in the rat

John Arthur, Fergus Nicol, A R HUTCHINSON, G J BECKETT

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Rats were fed selenium-deficient (<0.005 mg selenium/kg) or selenium-supplemented diets (0.1 mg selenium/kg, as Na2SeO2) for up to five wks from weaning to assess the effects of developing selenium deficiency on the metabolism of thyroid hormones. Within two wks 3:5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) production from thyroxine (T4) in liver homogenates from selenium-deficient rats was significantly lower compared with the activity in liver homogenates from selenium-supplemented rats. This decreased activity was probably responsible, in part, for the higher T4 and lower T3 concentrations in plasma from the selenium-deficient rats after 3, 4, and 5 weeks of experiment. Repletion of selenium-deficient rats with single intra-peritoneal injections of 200 μg selenium/kg body wt. (as Na2SeO3) 5 days before sampling reversed the effects of the deficiency on thyroid hormone metabolism and significantly increased liver and plasma glutathione peroxidase activities. However a dose of 10 μg selenium/kg body wt given to rats of similar low selenium status had no effect on thyroid hormone metabolism or glutathione peroxidase activity but did reverse the increase in hepatic glutathione S-transferase activity characteristic of severe selenium deficiency. Imbalances in thyroid hormone metabolism are an early consequence of selenium deficiency and are probably not related to changes in hepatic xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes associated with severe deficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1990


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