Selenium supplementation acting through the induction of thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase protects the human endothelial cell line EAhy926 from damage by lipid hydroperoxides

M H Lewin, John Arthur, R A Riemersma, Fergus Nicol, S W Walker, E M Millar, A F Howie, G J Beckett

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The human endothelial cell line EAhy926 was used to determine the importance of selenium in preventing oxidative damage induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tert-BuOOH) or oxidised low density lipoprotein (LDLox). In cells grown in a low selenium medium, tert-BuOOH and LDLox killed cells in a dose-dependent manner. At 555 mg/l LDLox or 300 muM tert-BuOOH, >80% of cells were killed after 20 h. No significant cell kill was achieved by these agents if cells were pre-incubated for 48 h with 40 nM sodium selenite, a concentration that maximally induced the activities of cytoplasmic glutathione peroxidase (cyGPX; 5.1-fold), phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPX;1.9-fold) and thioredoxin reductase (TR; 3.1-fold). Selenium-deficient cells pre-treated with 1 muM gold thioglucose (GTG) (a concentration that inhibited 25% of TR activity but had no inhibitory effect on cyGPX or PHGPX activity) were significantly (P<0.05) more susceptible to tert-BuOOH toxicity (LC50 110 &mu;M) than selenium-deficient cells (LC50 175 &mu;M). This was also the case for LDLox. In contrast, cells pre-treated with 40 nM selenite prior to exposure to GTG were significantly more resistant to damage from tert-BuOOH and LDLox than Se-deficient cells. Treatment with GTG or selenite had no significant effect on intracellular total glutathione concentrations. These results suggest that selenium supplementation, acting through induction of TR and GPX, has the potential to protect the human endothelium from oxidative damage. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta. Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2002


  • selenium
  • endothelial cell
  • thioredoxin reductase
  • glutathione peroxidase
  • low density lipoprotein
  • human
  • EAhy926

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