Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 16, pp 15609–15615 | Cite as

Ameliorative effects of nano-elemental selenium against hexavalent chromium-induced apoptosis in broiler liver

  • Liu Xueting
  • Mujeeb Ur Rehman
  • Khalid Mehmood
  • Shucheng Huang
  • Xinxin Tian
  • Xiaoxing Wu
  • Donghai Zhou
Research Article


The current study examined the ameliorative effects of nano-elemental selenium (Nano-Se) against chromium-VI (K2Cr2O7)-induced apoptosis in chickens. The expression of apoptosis-related genes was evaluated by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and western blot. A total of 60, one-day-old broiler chickens allotted to six equal groups, i.e., control group (standard diet), Cr(VI)-exposed group (K2Cr2O7 via drinking water), Nano-Se group (Nano-Se at 0.5 mg/kg via diet), protection group (K2Cr2O7 + Nano-Se), cure group (K2Cr2O7 for initial 2 weeks and then Nano-Se), and prevention group (opposite to the cure group) and were detected by the activities of pro-apoptosis (Bax, Caspase-3) and anti-apoptosis (Bcl-2) genes expression at day 35 of the experiment. Intense apoptosis was observed in liver tissues of chickens exposed to K2Cr2O7. The Nano-Se supplementation caused a significant decrease (P < 0.01) in the mRNA expression levels of Bax and Caspase-3 genes, while significantly elevated (P < 0.05) mRNA expression level of Bcl-2 gene was observed in Nano-Se experimental groups as compare to control and Cr(VI)-exposed group. The results quantified by the RT-qPCR were further confirmed by the western blot analysis. Altogether, these results suggest anti-apoptotic effects of Nano-Se in the chicken liver, which is interesting for further study. The present findings suggested that Nano-Se has protective effects against K2Cr2O7-induced apoptosis in broilers liver and can serve a key role as a protective agent against apoptosis.


Apoptosis Chickens Chromium-VI (K2Cr2O7Nano-selenium 


Authors’ contributions

LX, DZ, and MR participated in the conception and design of the study and wrote the manuscript. LX, MR, KM, SCH, XT, and XW performed the experiments and analyzed the data. All authors contributed to the analysis and supported the manuscript discussion. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Project No. 2016YFD0501208), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30700588), and Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2014CFB244).

Compliance with ethical standards

All the experimental procedures were approved and conducted under the guidelines provided by the Institutional Animal Care and Ethics Committee of Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1758_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13.7 kb)


  1. Anandhi MR, Viswanathan K, Mohan B (2006) Dietary inclusion of organic chromium on production and carcass characteristics of broilers. Int J Poult Sci 5(9):880–884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldi P, Long AD (2001) A Bayesian framework for the analysis of microarray expression data: regularized t-test and statistical inferences of gene changes. Bioinformatics 17:509–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banu SK, Stanley JA, Lee J, Stephen SD, Arosh JA, Hoyer PB, Burghardt RC (2011) Hexavalent chromium-induced apoptosis of granulosa cells involves selective sub-cellular translocation of Bcl-2 members, ERK1/2 and p53. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 251:253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Essa HA, Dhia KI, Luma KA (2010) Effect of supplementing different levels of chromium yeast to diet on broiler chickens performance. Int J Poult Sci 9(4):376–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hamidi O, Mohammad C, Hasan G, Ali A, Hassan M (2016) Effects of chromium (III) picolinate and chromium (III) picolinate nanoparticles supplementation on growth performance, organs weight and immune function in cyclic heat stressed broiler chickens. Vet Dergi Kafkas 1:10–16Google Scholar
  6. Harris GK, Shi X (2003) Signaling by carcinogenic metals and metal-induced reactive oxygen species. Mutat Res 533:183–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hu CH, Li YL, Xiong L, Zhang HM, Song J, Xia MS (2012) Comparative effects of nano elemental selenium and sodium selenite on selenium retention in broiler chickens. Anim Feed Sci Technol 177:204–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jani P, Halbert GW, Langridge J, Florence AT (1990) Nanoparticle uptake by the rat gastrointestinal mucosa: quantitation and particle size dependency. J Pharm Pharmacol 42:821–826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Khan RU (2011) Antioxidants and poultry semen quality. Worlds Poultry Sci J 67(2):297–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Khan RU, Naz S, Dhama K, Saminathan M, Tiwari R, Jeon GJ, Laudadio V, Tufarelli V (2014a) Modes of action of and beneficial applications of chromium in poultry nutrition, production and health: a review. Int J Pharm 10(7):357–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Khan RU, Naz S, Dhama K (2014b) Chromium: pharmacological applications in heat stressed poultry. Int J Pharm 10:213–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kumar S, Joshi UN, Sangwan S (2010) Chromium (VI) influenced nutritive value of forage sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) Anim Feed Sci Technol 160(3–4):121–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kuwana T, Newmeyerm DD (2003) Bcl-2-family proteins and the role of mitochondria in apoptosis. Curr Opin Cell Biol 15:691–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liao XH, Chen GT, Li Y, Zhang L, Liu Q, Sun H, Guo H (2012) Augmenter of liver regeneration attenuates tubular cell apoptosis in acute kidney injury in rats: the possible mechanisms. Ren Fail 34:590–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marouani N, Tebourbi O, Mokni M, Yacoubi MT, Sakly M, Benkhalifa M, Rhouma KB (2015) Hexavalent chromium-induced apoptosis in rat uterus: involvement of oxidative stress. Arch Environ Occup H 70:189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ognik K, Stępniowska A, Cholewińska E, Kozlowski K (2016) The effect of administration of copper nanoparticles to chickens in drinking water on estimated intestinal absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium. Poult Sci 95:2045–2051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Roussel AM, Andriollo-Sanchez M, Ferry M, Bryden NA, Anderson R (2007) Food chromium content, dietary chromium intake and related biological variables in French free-living elderly. Br J Nutr 98(02):326–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schwarz K, Mertz W (1959) Chromium III and the glucose tolerance factor. Arch Biochem Biophys 85:292–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shi LG, Xun WJ, Yue WB, Zhang CX, Ren YS, Shi L, Wang Q, Yang R, Lei F (2011) Effect of sodium selenite, Se–yeast and nano-elemental selenium on growth performance Se concentration and antioxidant status in growing male goats. Small Rumin Res 96:49–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shakirullah MS, Qureshi S, Akhtar, Khan RU (2017) The effect of vitamin E and selenium on physiological, hormonal and antioxidant status of Damani and Balkhi sheep submitted to heat stress. Appl Biol Chem 60:585–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Szallasi Z (1999) Genetic network analysis in light of massively parallel biological data acquisition. Pac Symp Biocomput 1999:5–16Google Scholar
  22. Valko M, Morris H, Cronin MT (2005) Metals, toxicity and oxidative stress. Curr Med Chem 12:1161–1208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Von Burg R, Liu D (1993) Chromium and hexavalent chromium. J Appl Toxicol 13:225–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang XF, Xing ML, Shen Y, Zhu X, Xu LH (2006) Oral administration of Cr(VI) induced oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptotic cell death in mice. Toxicology 228:16–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wang HL, Zhang JS, Yu HQ (2007) Elemental selenium at nano size possesses lower toxicity without compromising the fundamental effect on selenoenzymes: comparison with selenomethionine in mice. Free Radic Biol Med 42:1524–1533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wise SS, Holmes AL, Wise JP Sr (2008) Hexavalent chromium-induced DNA damage and repair mechanisms. Rev Environ Health 23:39–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wolffram S, Anliker E, Scharrer E (1986) Uptake of selenate and selenite by isolated intestinal brush-border membrae vesicles from pig, sheep, and rat. Biol Trace Elem Res 10:293–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Xueting L, Rehman MU, Zhang H, Tian X, Wu X, Shixue, Mehmood K, Zhou D (2018) Protective effects of nano-elemental selenium against chromium-VI induced oxidative stress in broiler liver. J Biol Regul Homeos Ag 32(1):47–54Google Scholar
  29. Ye J, Wang S, Leonard SS, Sun Y, Butterworth L, Antonini J, Ding M, Rojanasakul Y, Vallyathan V, Castranova V, Shi X (1999) Role of reactive oxygen species and p53 in chromium(VI)-induced apoptosis. J Biol Chem 274:34974–34980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhang JS, Gao XY, Zhang LD, Bao YP (2001) Biological effects of a nano red elemental selenium. Biofactors 15:27–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liu Xueting
    • 1
  • Mujeeb Ur Rehman
    • 1
  • Khalid Mehmood
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shucheng Huang
    • 1
  • Xinxin Tian
    • 1
  • Xiaoxing Wu
    • 1
  • Donghai Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Veterinary MedicineHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.University College of Veterinary & Animal SciencesIslamia University of BahawalpurPunjabPakistan

Personalised recommendations