Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 149, Issue 1, pp 22–28 | Cite as

The Immunostimulatory Effect of Biogenic Selenium Nanoparticles on the 4T1 Breast Cancer Model: an In Vivo Study

  • Mohammad Hossein Yazdi
  • Mehdi Mahdavi
  • Bardia Varastehmoradi
  • Mohammad Ali Faramarzi
  • Ahmad Reza Shahverdi


Selenium salts as well as elemental selenium nanoparticles are attracting the attention of researchers due to their excellent biological properties. The aim of the present work was to study immunomodulation by applying elemental Se NPs to stimulate the immune response of mice bearing 4 T1 breast cancer tumors. Six- to 8-week-old female inbred BALB/c mice were divided into two groups of test and control, each containing 15 mice. Every day, for 2 weeks prior to tumor induction, selenium nanoparticles were orally administered to the mice at a dose of 100 μg/day. Then, 1 × 106 cells from a 4 T1 cell line were injected subcutaneously to each mouse. Oral nanoparticle administration was continued daily for 3 weeks after tumor induction. Different immunological parameters were then evaluated including cytokine level, delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response as well as tumor growth and the survival rates in all treated or nontreated animals. The production of Th1 cytokines, such as IFN-γ and IL-12, in spleen cell culture was increased in the test mice-administered selenium nanoparticles. The DTH response of test mice also showed a significant increase when compared to the control mice. The survival rate was notably higher for the selenium nanoparticle-treated mice compared to the control mice. Our results suggest that selenium nanoparticle administration can result in considerable induction of the Th1 platform of immune response through the elevation of IFN-γ and IL-12 and may be a cause for better prognosis in mice with tumors.


Selenium nanoparticles Th1 cytokines 4 T1 cell line Breast cancer 



This work was supported by the Biotechnology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Tehran, Iran).There is no conflict of interest in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Hossein Yazdi
    • 1
  • Mehdi Mahdavi
    • 2
  • Bardia Varastehmoradi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Ali Faramarzi
    • 1
  • Ahmad Reza Shahverdi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biotechnology Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of VirologyPasteur Institute of IranTehranIran

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