Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 97–110 | Cite as

Selenite metabolism in rat and human blood

  • Alberto Mas
  • Jiuyu Jiang
  • Bibudhendra Sarkar


The binding of selenite, the form of selenium used in the treatment of Keshan disease, to plasma proteins and the role of erythrocytes in this process have been studied. The experiments were carried out by incubating75Se as selenite with plasma and whole bloodin vitro (human and rat) andin vivo (rat) and subsequent fractionation by Sephadex G-150 gel filtration. Human and rat plasma proteins were unable to incorporate selenium from selenite, as shown by the negligible amount present in proteins after incubation of plasma with selenite. The incorporation can be carried out after internalization of selenite by the erythrocytes in a fast, temperature dependent process. Hemoglobin, being the major binding protein for the newly reduced selenium in the erythrocyte, might have a role in the uptake of selenite by erythrocytes. The greater affinity of plasma proteins for the final selenium compound resulting from reduction could be the cause of the efflux. However, this is minimal in the absence of plasma, as is evident from the results obtained from blood reconstituted with saline solution instead of plasma. At least two proteins, one albumin like, probably albumin itself and the other of molecular weight close to or greater than 200,000 in the plasma, are involved in the binding and efflux processes.

Index Entries

Metabolism of selenite selenium binding to plasma proteins selenite uptake by erythrocytes selenium binding in erythrocyte cytosol hemoglobin binding 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Mas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiuyu Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bibudhendra Sarkar
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research InstituteThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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