Determination of selenium status using the nail biologic monitor in a canine model

Morris, J.; Spate, Vickie; Ngwenyama, Ruth; Waters, David
February 2012
Journal of Radioanalytical & Nuclear Chemistry;Feb2012, Vol. 291 Issue 2, p439
Academic Journal
Toenails and fingernails are routinely used to estimate selenium status in epidemiological studies; however, literature validating nail selenium concentration as a surrogate for critical organs is limited. In this study diets of intact male dogs were selenium supplemented at two physiological levels (3 and 6 μg/kg/day) in two different forms, selenomethionine and selenium-enriched bioformed yeast. The selenium-adequate basal diet consumed by the treatment and control groups during the 4-week run-in period and throughout the trial contained 0.3 ppm selenium. After 7 months the dogs in the two treatment groups and the control group were euthanized. Representative tissue samples from prostate, brain, liver, heart and skeletal muscle were collected, rinsed and frozen. Toenail clippings from multiple toes were also collected. Selenium was determined by neutron activation analysis using Se77m (half life = 17.4 s) at the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center. NIST SRM 1577, Bovine Liver was analyzed as a quality control. The analysts were blinded to control and treatment group assignments. As expected, tissue selenium levels increased proportionally with supplementation. A slightly greater increase in tissue selenium was observed for the purified selenomethionine compared to the bioformed yeast; however this trend was significant only for brain tissue. Toenail selenium concentrations and tissue selenium were highly correlated ( p < 0.003) with Pearson coefficients of 0.759 (skeletal muscle), 0.745 (heart), 0.729 (brain), 0.723 (prostate), and 0.632 (liver). The toenail biologic monitor accurately assesses selenium status in skeletal muscle, heart, brain, prostate, and liver in the canine model.


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