Dietary Selenium Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Mammary Tumorigenesis-Mediated Bone Loss in Male MMTV-PyMT Mice

  • Lin YanEmail author
  • Forrest H. Nielsen
  • Sneha Sundaram
  • Jay Cao


Bone wasting occurs during the progression of breast cancer and contributes to breast cancer mortality. We evaluated the effect of methylseleninic acid (MSeA), an anti-carcinogenic form of selenium, on bone microstructural changes in the presence of mammary tumors in a male breast cancer model of mouse mammary tumor virus–polyomavirus middle T-antigen (MMTV-PyMT). In this study, we performed microcomputed tomographic analysis of femurs and vertebrae collected from a study showing that dietary supplementation with MSeA reduces mammary tumorigenesis in male mice. Compared to age-matched, non-tumor-bearing mice (MMTV-PyMT negative), the presence of mammary tumors significantly reduced the bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, and bone mineral density while it increased the structure model index in femurs, but not in vertebrae. Moreover, mammary tumorigenesis decreased plasma concentrations of osteocalcin. Supplementation with MSeA did not affect these changes in MMTV-PyMT mice. In conclusion, mammary tumorigenesis caused bone loss in MMTV-PyMT mice. However, dietary supplementation with MSeA did not attenuate mammary tumor-associated bone loss in this model of male breast cancer.


Selenium Mammary tumor Bone loss MMTV-PyMT Male Mice 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the following staff of the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center: Lana DeMars, Kay Keehr, and Kim Michelsen for technical support, James Lindlauf for preparing experimental diets, and vivarium staff for providing high-quality animal care.

Funding Information

Funding for this work was provided by the USDA, ARS, Research Project 3062-51000-050-00D.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study was conducted in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health (Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (2011) Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals, 8th edn. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© This is a U.S. Government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research ServiceGrand Forks Human Nutrition Research CenterGrand ForksUSA

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