Pharmacokinetics of Selenium in Healthy Piglets After Different Routes of Administration: Application of Pharmacokinetic Data to the Risk Assessment of Selenium

  • Houjuan Xing
  • Shufang Zheng
  • Ziwei Zhang
  • Fating Zhu
  • Hua Xue
  • Shiwen XuEmail author


Selenium (Se) is a trace element in the environment. Although it is a necessary trace element for human and animal health, excessive Se can also pollute the environment and show toxic effects on humans and animals. Since the safe dose range of Se is narrow, it is important to study the pharmacokinetics of Se in order to make better use of the biological effects of Se. In the present study, we investigated the pharmacokinetic process of sodium selenate in healthy piglet plasma after either intramuscular injection or oral administrations, and examined dynamic changes of antioxidant system in healthy piglets after Se supplementation. The results showed that the Se reached the peak concentration of (0.2451 ± 0.0123) μg mL−1 at (0.4237 ± 0.0185) h following intramuscular injection administration and (0.1781 ± 0.0142) μg mL−1 at (2.1517 ± 0.1806) h following oral administration in the plasma. The average AUC of sodium selenite following intramuscular injection and oral administrations was (31.7260 ± 1.3574) and (75.1460 ± 3.4127) mg L−1 h−1, respectively. Total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) generally show an upward trend and malondialdehyde (MDA) shows a downward trend, regardless of intramuscular injection or oral sodium selenite. An increased concentration of Se was observed in the serum of healthy piglets after intramuscular injection and oral sodium selenite. Our results indicated that the pharmacokinetic process of sodium selenate in healthy piglet blood conforms to the two-chamber open model. Its pharmacokinetic properties are rapid absorption and slow excretion. Antioxidant systems in healthy piglets vary with Se levels, but there is a significant lag period compared with the latter. Our current findings will provide a more complete understanding of clinical rational Se supplementation and avoid contamination of the environment by overdose.


Selenium Pharmacokinetics Oxidative stress Risk assessment Pig 


Funding Information

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31772814).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Houjuan Xing
    • 1
  • Shufang Zheng
    • 2
  • Ziwei Zhang
    • 2
  • Fating Zhu
    • 3
  • Hua Xue
    • 3
  • Shiwen Xu
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and TechnologyNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary MedicineNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  3. 3.National Selenium-Rich Products Quality Supervision and Inspection CenterEnshiChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Animal Cellular and Genetic Engineering of Heilongjiang ProvinceNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina

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