Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 39–45 | Cite as

Uptake and distribution in rat brain of organic and inorganic selenium

  • Jørgen Clausen


Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) occur in relatively high amounts in phospholipids of the synapses. PUFAs may thus determine the fluidity of the synaptosomal membrane and, hereby, they may regulate the neuronal transmission. It was therefore tempting to suggest a system in the brain, that inhibits autooxidation of PUFAs.

In order to trace such a protection system, Wistar rats were equally loaded with 4500 kBq of 75-Se either as selenite or as L-Se-methionine. By means of gradient ultracentrifugation, particulate fractions of the brains were isolated, and the radioactivity as well as the glutathione-transferase and-peroxidase activities were estimated.

The distribution of the two selenium components among the particulate fractions was different. Thus, selenite gave higher radioactivity in myelin, then followed by the light synaptosomal and the vesicular fraction. L-Se-methionine was more equally incorporated in all particulate fractions, although highest activity was found in the mitochondrial fraction.

Myelin and synaptic vesicles were devoid of transferase activity. On the other hand, the synaptosomal fraction showed highest specific transferase activity. The glutathione peroxidase activity was highest in the myelin fraction, followed by the vesicular and the synaptosomal fractions.

The data obtained thus support the idea that the PUFAs of the synaptic compartment are protected against peroxidation, at least in part, by the selenium containing glutathione peroxidase.


Selenium Biological Trace Element Research Selenite Synaptic Vesicle Particulate Fraction 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jørgen Clausen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Life Sciences and ChemistryUniversity of RoskildeRoskildeDenmark

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