Selenium deficiency in cultured adrenocortical cells: Restoration of glutathione peroxidase and resistance to hydroperoxides on addition of selenium

Peter J. Hornsby, Doran W. Pearson, Anne P. Autor, Kathy A. Aldern, Sandra E. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cultured bovine adrenocortical cells were previously shown to be functionally deficient in selenium and vitamin E when grown in medium supplemented with fetal bovine serum. In the present experiments, the lack of significant bioavailable amounts of selenium in the medium was demonstrated by the finding of only low levels of glutathione peroxidase in the cultured cells (0.008 U/mg protein compared with 0.045 U/mg protein in fresh adrenocortical tissue). When 20 nM selenium as selenite was added to the cultured adrenocortical cells, glutathione peroxidase activity increased continuously over 72 h, with a total increase of about eightfold over this period. Over the same time‐course, the highest concentration of cumene hydroperoxide tolerated by the cells without cell death increased progressively from 10 μM to 50 μM. Addition of 1μM α‐tocopherol also increased the amount of cumene hydroperoxide tolerated to 50 μM. Cell death was measured by cloning efficiency after removal of cumene hydroperoxide. Addition of either selenium or α‐tocopherol had little effect on the growth rate of the cells over six passages, even when residual vitamin E was removed from the serum by extraction with ether and residual low molecular weight selenium compounds were removed by dialysis. It is concluded that combined deficiency of selenium and vitamin E, at least in the presence of other components of fetal bovine serum, has little effect on the ability of the cells to survive under normal conditions, as evidenced by continued long‐term proliferation. However, the low levels of glutathione peroxidase resulting from selenium deficiency cause an increase susceptibility to peroxide‐mediated toxicity. The combined deficiency of selenium and vitamin E impairs the ability of cells to survive under adverse conditions, as well as altering mitochondrial functions, as previously demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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