Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 281-297

First online:

Effects of excess selenomethionine on selenium status indicators in pregnant long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

  • Wayne Chris HawkesAffiliated withWestern Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS
  • , Calvin C. WillhiteAffiliated withDepartment of Health Services, State of California
  • , Kimberly A. CraigAffiliated withWestern Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS
  • , Stanley T. OmayeAffiliated withLetterman Army Institute of Research
  • , Douglas N. CoxAffiliated withCalifornia Public Health Foundation
  • , Wai Nang ChoyAffiliated withDepartment of Health Services, State of California
  • , Andrew G. HendrickxAffiliated withCalifornia Primate Research Center, University of California

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Forty pregnant long-tailed macaques were treated daily for 30 d with 0, 25, 150 or 300 μg selenium as L-selenomethionine/kg body weight. Erythrocyte and plasma selenium and glutathione peroxidase specific activities, hair and fecal selenium, and urinary selenium excretion were increased by and were linearly related to L-selenomethionine dose. Hair selenium was most sensitive to L-selenomethionine dose, with an 84-fold increase in the 300 μg selenium/(kg-d) group relative to controls (r=0.917). Daily urinary selenium excretion (80-fold,r=0.958), plasma selenium (22-fold,r=0.885), erythrocyte selenium (24-fold,r=0.920), and fecal selenium (18-fold,r=0.911) also responded strongly to L-selenomethionine. Erythrocyte and plasma glutathione peroxidase specific activities increased 154% and 69% over controls, respectively. Toxicity was associated with erythrocyte selenium >2.3 μg/mL, plasma selenium >2.8 μg/mL, and hair selenium >27 μg/g. Plasma, erythrocyte, and hair selenium concentrations may be useful for monitoring and preventing the toxicity of L-selenomethionine administered to humans in cancer chemoprevention trials.

Index Entries

Selenomethionine selenium glutathione peroxidase Macaca fascicularis long-tailed macaque nonhuman primate selenium status assessment selenium toxicity, cancer chemoprevention