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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Chemical form of selenium-containing metabolite in small intestine and liver of mice following orally administered selenocystine.

The chemical form of a selenium-containing metabolite in the small intestine following a single oral administration of selenocystine was investigated with ICR male mice. Selenium content in the small intestine of animals treated with 50 mg/kg selenocystine significantly increased 15 min, 1 h and 6 h after treatment. In contrast, selenocystine significantly depressed the intestinal reduced glutathione (GSH) level at 1 h after administration. A significant negative correlation between the selenium level and the level of GSH in the small intestine was observed (r = -0.83, p < 0.001). Analysis of the intestinal metabolite of selenocystine showed that selenium-containing metabolites elute in two fractions from a Sephadex G-25 column: the low-molecular fraction (peak I) contained the selenocystine, while the high-molecular fraction (peak II) contained selenocysteine-containing metabolite. An in vitro experiment was performed to gain insight into the mechanism for selenocysteine-containing metabolite production in the intestinal cytosol. When selenocystine or selenocysteine reacted with excess GSH in the presence of intestinal homogenate, the peak II fraction which involved the selenocysteine-containing metabolite was recognized in the Sephadex G-25 chromatogram. From an examination of the distribution of the selenocysteine-containing metabolite, it was recognized that this metabolite exists in plasma and liver cytosol of mice after oral administration of selenocystine. These results suggested that the mice treated with selenocystine produce selenocysteine-containing metabolite by reaction of selenocystine with excess GSH in the small intestine, and the metabolite is then transported to the liver through blood plasma.[1]


  1. Chemical form of selenium-containing metabolite in small intestine and liver of mice following orally administered selenocystine. Hasegawa, T., Mihara, M., Okuno, T., Nakamuro, K., Sayato, Y. Arch. Toxicol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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