In this study the acute toxic effects of aluminum (Al) on mice have been investigated, including the interactions of Al and selenium (Se). Focus was put on the systemic effects of (co)exposure to Al and Se as a reflection of the redox status in the liver, kidney and brain. Short-term exposure (16 h) to Al resulted in an increase in the systemic inflammation parameters IL-6 and PAI-1, whereas serum levels of TNF-α remained unaffected. The different response pattern of IL-6 and TNF-α probably indicates an increased intracellular oxidative stress and altered redox status in the liver, because the selective increase in IL-6 serves as a protective intrahepatocellular process driven by oxidative stress. The intracellular glutathione concentration GSHtot decreased significantly upon Al exposure. Both the increase in IL-6 and decrease in glutathione status could be prevented by co-exposure to Se, but not the increase in PAI-1. The redox status of the kidney and brain was not markedly affected. Therefore it was concluded that short-term exposure to Al causes adverse effects on the intracellular oxidative stress processes in the liver, as reflected by the selective increase in the IL-6 concentration. This process can be restored by co-administration of the trace element Se as a part of the glutathione redox system.
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