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Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(2):81-97.

Selenium and the brain: a review.

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1
Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331, USA. phil.whanger@orst.edu

Abstract

Similar to other tissues selenium from selenomethionine is deposited in the brain at higher concentrations than selenium in other forms. Vitamin E has a greater effect than selenium in reducing lipid peroxidation in various brain regions. Selenium does not have as great effect on glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity in the brain as in most other organs. Prolonged selenium and iodine deficiencies will compromise thyroid hormone homeostatus in the brain and this is due to changes in deiodinases activities and lipid peroxidation. Even though selenium deficiency results in reduced GPX activity and selenium content in the brain, there is no reduction in thioredoxin reductase activity or selenoprotein W levels. Selenoprotein P is taken up in greater amounts by the brain but not by other organs in selenium deficient animals, suggesting a critical function of this selenoprotein in this organ. Selenium will influence compounds with hormonal activity (and neurotransmitters) in the brain, and this is postulated to be the reason selenium affects moods in humans and behavior in animals. Even though selenium counteracts the neurotoxicity of mercury, cadmium, lead and vanadium, it causes them to accumulate in the brain, presumably in a nontoxic complex.

PMID:
11842884
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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