Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 184, Issue 1, pp 83–91 | Cite as

Protective Role of Selenium in Immune-Relevant Cytokine and Immunoglobulin Production by Piglet Splenic Lymphocytes Exposed to Deoxynivalenol

  • Xuemei Wang
  • Zhicai Zuo
  • Junliang Deng
  • Zhuo Zhang
  • Changhao Chen
  • Yu Fan
  • Guangneng Peng
  • Suizhong Cao
  • Yanchun Hu
  • Shumin Yu
  • Chaoxi Chen
  • Zhihua Ren


Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin that causes immunosuppression, especially in swine. Selenium (Se) is essential for proper functioning of the immune system in animals. However, little is known about the effects of DON and Se on cytokine or immunoglobulin production in piglets. Here, we addressed this gap by examining piglet splenic lymphocyte responses in vitro. Cells were stimulated with concanavalin A, a T cell stimulatory lectin, in the absence or presence of DON (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 μg/mL), Se (Na2SeO3, 2 μM), or combinations of Se 2 μM and DON 0.1–0.8 μg/mL for 12, 24, or 48 h. At each time point, supernatants and cells were collected and the expression of cytokine and immunoglobulin protein and mRNA was examined. Compared with control and Se-alone treatments, DON exposure significantly and dose dependently decreased the expression levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ, IgG, and IgM mRNA and protein. By contrast, co-treatment with DON + Se significantly increased the mRNA and protein levels of all factors examined, except IL-4 and IL-6, compared with DON treatment alone. The results of this investigation demonstrate that Se has the potential to counteract DON-induced immunosuppression in piglets and is a promising treatment for DON-mediated toxicity.


Deoxynivalenol Selenium Cytokine Immunoglobulin Splenic lymphocyte 









Interferon gamma


Immunoglobulin M


Enzyme-linked immuneabsorbent assays


Concanavalin A



We thank Anne M. O’Rourke, PhD, from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (www., for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.


The present work was supported by the National Natural Science Fund of China (31402269) and the Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team of Ministry of Education of China Funds (grant no. IRTO848).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal. All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with submission to FEBS Letters.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuemei Wang
    • 1
  • Zhicai Zuo
    • 1
  • Junliang Deng
    • 1
  • Zhuo Zhang
    • 1
  • Changhao Chen
    • 1
  • Yu Fan
    • 1
  • Guangneng Peng
    • 1
  • Suizhong Cao
    • 1
  • Yanchun Hu
    • 1
  • Shumin Yu
    • 1
  • Chaoxi Chen
    • 2
  • Zhihua Ren
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Province Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health, Key Laboratory of Environmental Hazard and Human Health of Sichuan ProvinceSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.College of Life Science and TechnologySouthwest University for NationalitiesChengduChina

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