Selenium and glutathione levels, and glutathione peroxidase activities in blood components of uremic patients on hemodialysis supplemented with selenium and treated with erythropoietin

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2001;15(4):201-8. doi: 10.1016/S0946-672X(01)80034-1.


Patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) often have reduced concentrations of selenium (Se) and lowered activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in blood components. The kidney is a major source of plasma GSH-Px. We measured Se and glutathione levels in blood components and red cell and plasma GSH-Px activities in 58 uremic patients on regular (3 times a week) hemodialysis (HD). The dialyzed patients were divided in 4 subgroups and were supplemented for 3 months with: 1) placebo (bakers yeast), 2) erythropoietin (EPO; 3 times a week with 2,000 U after each HD session), 3) Se-rich yeast (300 microg 3 times a week after each HD), and 4) Se-rich yeast plus EPO in doses as above. The results were compared with those for 25 healthy subjects. The Se concentrations and GSH-Px activities in the blood components of dialyzed uremic patients were significantly lower compared with the control group. Treatment of the HD patients with placebo and EPO only did not change the parameters studied. The treatment with Se as well as with Se and EPO caused an increase in Se levels and red cell GSH-Px activity. Plasma GSH-Px activity, however, increased only slowly or did not change after treatment with Se and with Se plus EPO. In the group treated with Se plus EPO the element concentration in blood components was higher compared with the group supplemented with Se alone. The weak or absence of response in plasma GSH-Px activity to Se supply indicates that the impaired kidney of uremic HD patients has reduced possibilities to synthesize this enzyme.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use*
  • Glutathione / blood*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Selenium / therapeutic use*
  • Uremia / drug therapy*


  • Antioxidants
  • Erythropoietin
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glutathione
  • Selenium