, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 227-239

Supplementation with selenium augments the functions of natural killer and lymphokine-activated killer cells

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This study examined the effects of dietary (2.0 ppm for 8 wk) and in vitro (1×10−7 M) supplementation with selenium (Se, as sodium selenite) on the activity of spleen natural killer (NK) cells and plastic-adherent lymphokine-activated killer (A-LAK) cells from C57B1/6J male mice. Dietary supplementation with Se resulted in a significant increase in the lytic activity of activated NK cells, and cells from these highly lytic effector cell populations expressed significantly higher numbers of intermediate affinity interleukin-2 receptors (II-2R)/cell. In the presence of high concentrations of II-2 and 1×10−7 M Se, resting populations of spleen NK cells developed into A-LAK cells that had a significantly enhanced ability to proliferate, as indicated by the significantly higher amounts of nuclear3H-thymidine incorporation, and a significantly augmented cytolytic activity against both NK-sensitive and NK-resistant target cells. Se appears to enhance the lytic activity of activated NK cells and to augment the proliferation, expansion, and lytic activity of A-LAK cells in the presence of high concentrations of Il-2 through its ability to enhance the expression of intermediate affinity Il-2R on these cells.