Selenium alleviates cadmium-induced inflammation and meat quality degradation via antioxidant and anti-inflammation in chicken breast muscles

  • Kou-Kou Tang
  • Hui-Qin Li
  • Kui-Chao Qu
  • Rui-Feng FanEmail author
Research Article


Cadmium (Cd) as a widespread toxic heavy metal accumulates in animal food including chicken meat through food chain enrichment and finally threatens human health. Selenium (Se) is an essential mineral and possesses antagonistic effects on Cd-induced multiple organs’ toxicity in chickens. The objective of the present study was to reveal the antagonistic mechanisms of Se to Cd from the aspects of oxidative stress, inflammation, and meat quality in chicken breast muscles. Firstly, the results showed that Cd significantly elevated the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and protein carbonyl, and declined the levels of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) to trigger oxidative stress in chicken breast muscles. However, Se treatment significantly alleviated Cd-induced oxidative stress by increasing the levels of GSH-Px, SOD, and CAT, and decreasing the levels of MDA, H2O2, and protein carbonyl. Secondly, Se obviously inhibited the expressions of Cd-activated inflammation-related genes including tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (COX-2), and prostaglandin E synthase (PTGEs) in chicken breast muscles. Thirdly, meat quality-related parameters including pH45min, ultimate pH (pHu), and drip loss were also detected, and the results showed that Se markedly recovered Cd-induced dropt of pH45min and increase of drip loss in chicken breast muscles. In brief, these findings demonstrated that Se significantly alleviated Cd-induced oxidative stress and inflammation, and declined meat quality of chicken breast muscles.


Cadmium Selenium Oxidative stress Inflammation Meat quality Chicken 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Doctoral Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2018BC048), National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 31873030), and Funds of Shandong “Double Tops” Program.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kou-Kou Tang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hui-Qin Li
    • 4
  • Kui-Chao Qu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rui-Feng Fan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’an CityChina
  2. 2.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Biotechnology and Disease Control and PreventionShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’an CityChina
  3. 3.Shandong Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center of Animal Disease Control and PreventionShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’an CityChina
  4. 4.College of Veterinary MedicineNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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