Effect of selenium on the growth of three human colon cancer cell lines

  • J. L. Nano
  • D. Czerucka
  • F. Menguy
  • P. Rampal


The effects of selenium were investigated on three human colon cancer cell lines: Caco 2, HRT 18, and HT 29. At low concentrations (10–100nM), selenium stimulated cell growth in serum-free medium. Thus, selenium is an essential trace element for cell proliferation. At higher concentrations, selenium inhibited cell growth. The rate of75Se uptake was the same in all of the cell lines studied, but the quantity incorporated differed. GSH-Px activity was dependent on the selenium content of the medium. DNA and protein synthesis paralleled the growth curve. Comparison with the curve of viability revealed that selenium inhibited cell growth in two ways: by inhibiting DNA synthesis, without affecting cell viability, and, at higher doses, by cytotoxicity.

Index Entries

Selenium proliferation colon cancer cells 



phosphate-buffered saline


Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium


fetal bovine serum


epidermal growth factor


glutathione peroxidase (EC1.11.1.9)




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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Nano
    • 1
  • D. Czerucka
    • 1
  • F. Menguy
    • 1
  • P. Rampal
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Gastroentérologie et de NutritionUER de MedecineNice, CedexFrance

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