The Effects of Selenium Supplementation on Clinical Symptoms and Gene Expression Related to Inflammation and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Infertile Women Candidate for In Vitro Fertilization

  • Zahra Heidar
  • Negar Hamzepour
  • Shahrzad Zadeh Modarres
  • Masoomeh Mirzamoradi
  • Esmat Aghadavod
  • Mohammad Hossein Pourhanifeh
  • Zatollah AsemiEmail author


This study was performed to determine the effects of selenium supplementation on clinical symptoms and gene expression related to inflammatory markers in infertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who were candidate for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Thirty-six women candidate for IVF were recruited in this randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. They (n = 18/group) were randomly assigned into intervention groups to take either 200 μg/day of selenium or placebo for 8 weeks. RT-PCR findings indicated that selenium supplementation downregulated gene expression of interleukin-1 (IL-1) (P < 0.004) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (P = 0.02) in lymphocytes of patients with PCOS compared with the placebo. In addition, selenium supplementation upregulated gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (P = 0.001) in lymphocytes of patients with PCOS compared with the placebo. Selenium supplementation had no significant effect on clinical symptoms and gene expression of IL-8 (P = 0.10) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) (P = 0.63). Overall, our findings documented that selenium supplementation for 8 weeks to infertile women candidate for IVF improved IL-1, TNF-α, and VEGF gene expression, though selenium had no effect on clinical symptoms and, IL-8 and TGF-β gene expression. Clinical trial registration number: IRCT20170513033941N23.


Selenium Gene expression Inflammatory markers Polycystic ovary syndrome 


Authors’ Contributions

ZA helped in conception, design, and statistical analysis of the manuscript. ZH, NH, SZ-M, MM, EA, and M-HP contributed in data collection and manuscript drafting. ZA supervised the study.

Funding Information

This study was supported by a grant from the Vice-chancellor for Research, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infertility and Reproductive Health Research Center, School of MedicineShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Laser Application in Medical Science Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic DiseasesKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran

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