Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 25–33 | Cite as

Selenoprotein P in subjects exposed to mercury and other stress situations such as physical load or metal chelation treatment

  • Ingrid Falnoga
  • Alfred B. Kobal
  • Vekoslava Stibilj
  • Milena Horvat


In plasma, Se is found in plasma glutathione peroxidase (pGSH-Px), selenoprotein P (Sel-P), and albumins. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of lifelong exposure to various levels of mercury vapor (Hg0) on plasma Se content and the fraction bound to Sel-P. Second, a pilot study was performed on the influence of short-term excessive physical stress and metal chelation (DIMAVAL) treatment.

Samples of human plasma/serum obtained from a control group, Idrija residents living in a Hg-polluted environment because of the vicinity of the Idrija mercury mine (closed 1994), a few Idrija residents exposed to excessive physical stress, and two retired miners treated with the drug DIMAVAL were investigated.

Selenoprotein P was isolated by affinity chromatography (heparin-Sepharose), and the concentrations of selenium were determined by radiochemical neutron activation analysis and hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry.

Regardless of the group investigated, plasma Se average values were very similar (about 70–90 ngSe/g). A significant change of Sel P (7–24% decrease) was noted only in the group exposed to physical stress as compared to the same subjects before the test, to the control group, and to the Hg exposed group. The decrease of Se bound on Sel-P was accompanied by its increase in fraction of pGSH-Px with albumin.

Index Entries

Human plasma/serum selenium selenoprotein P mercury DIMAVAL physical stress 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid Falnoga
    • 1
  • Alfred B. Kobal
    • 2
  • Vekoslava Stibilj
    • 1
  • Milena Horvat
    • 1
  1. 1.Jožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Idrija Mercury MineIdrijaSlovenia

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