, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 274-283,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 27 Jul 2010

The Effect of Selenium Supplementation in the Prevention of DNA Damage in White Blood Cells of Hemodialyzed Patients: A Pilot Study


Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have an increased incidence of cancer. It is well known that long periods of hemodialysis (HD) treatment are linked to DNA damage due to oxidative stress. In this study, we examined the effect of selenium (Se) supplementation to CKD patients on HD on the prevention of oxidative DNA damage in white blood cells. Blood samples were drawn from 42 CKD patients on HD (at the beginning of the study and after 1 and 3 months) and from 30 healthy controls. Twenty-two patients were supplemented with 200 μg Se (as Se-rich yeast) per day and 20 with placebo (baker's yeast) for 3 months. Se concentration in plasma and DNA damage in white blood cells expressed as the tail moment, including single-strand breaks (SSB) and oxidative bases lesion in DNA, using formamidopyrimidine glycosylase (FPG), were measured. Se concentration in patients was significantly lower than in healthy subjects (P < 0.0001) and increased significantly after 3 months of Se supplementation (P < 0.0001). Tail moment (SSB) in patients before the study was three times higher than in healthy subjects (P < 0.01). After 3 months of Se supplementation, it decreased significantly (P < 0.01) and was about 16% lower than in healthy subjects. The oxidative bases lesion in DNA (tail moment, FPG) of HD patients at the beginning of the study was significantly higher (P < 0.01) compared with controls, and 3 months after Se supplementation it was 2.6 times lower than in controls (P < 0.01). No changes in tail moment was observed in the placebo group. In conclusion, our study shows that in CKD patients on HD, DNA damage in white blood cells is higher than in healthy controls, and Se supplementation prevents the damage of DNA.