Toxicity and oxidative stress of different forms of organic selenium and dietary protein in mallard ducklings

  • D. J. Hoffman
  • G. H. Heinz
  • L. J. LeCaptain
  • J. D. Eisemann
  • G. W. Pendleton


Concentrations of over 100 ppm (mg/kg) selenium (Se) have been found in aquatic plants and insects associated with irrigation drainwater and toxicity to fish and wildlife. Composition of diet for wild ducklings can vary in selenium-contaminated environments. Earlier studies have compared toxicities and oxidative stress of Se as selenite to those of seleno-DL-methionine (DL) in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). This study compares DL, seleno-L-methionine (L), selenized yeast (Y) and selenized wheat (W). Day-old mallard ducklings received an untreated diet (controls) containing 75% wheat (22% protein) or the same diet containing 15 or 30 ppm Se in the above forms except for 30 ppm Se as W. After 2 weeks, blood and liver samples were collected for biochemical assays and Se analysis. All forms of selenium caused significant increases in plasma and hepatic glutathione peroxidase activities. Se as L at 30 ppm in the diet was the most toxic form, resulting in high mortality (64%) and impaired growth (>50%) in survivors and the greatest increase in ratio of oxidized to reduced hepatic glutathione (GSH). Se as both L and DL decreased the concentrations of hepatic GSH and total thiols. Se as Y accumulated the least in liver (approximately 50% of other forms) and had less effect on GSH and total thiols. In a second experiment, in which the basal diet was a commercial duck feed (22% protein), survival was not affected by 30 ppm Se as DL, L, or Y and oxidative effects on GSH metabolism were less pronounced than with the wheat diet.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Hoffman
    • 1
  • G. H. Heinz
    • 1
  • L. J. LeCaptain
    • 1
  • J. D. Eisemann
    • 1
  • G. W. Pendleton
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. National Biological ServicePatuxent Wildlife Research CenterLaurelUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceSpokaneUSA

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