Article

Biological Trace Element Research

, 125:255

First online:

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

  • Roderick C. McKenzieAffiliated withThe Epidermal Infection and Protection Group, Laboratory for Clinical and Molecular Virology, University of Edinburgh
  • , Geoff J. BeckettAffiliated withClinical Biochemistry, University of Edinburgh
  • , Steven McLeanAffiliated withThe Epidermal Infection and Protection Group, Laboratory for Clinical and Molecular Virology, University of Edinburgh
  • , John R. ArthurAffiliated withRowett Research Institute
  • , Joanna C. MacveAffiliated withBiomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh Medical School
  • , Fergus NicolAffiliated withRowett Research Institute
  • , A. Forbes HowieAffiliated withClinical Biochemistry, University of Edinburgh
  • , Mary NorvalAffiliated withBiomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh Medical School Email author 

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Langerhans cells Selenium Mast cells Glutathione peroxidase Ultraviolet radiation