Selenium and its relationship with selenoprotein P and glutathione peroxidase in children and adolescents with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2016 Mar:34:10-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


The essential trace element selenium (Se) is required for thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. Selenoproteins contain selenocysteine and are responsible for biological functions of selenium. Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) is one of the major selenoproteins which protects the thyroid cells from oxidative damage. Selenoprotein P (SePP) is considered as the plasma selenium transporter to tissues. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum Se and SePP levels, and GPx activity in erythrocytes of children and adolescents with treated Hashimoto's thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, and normal subjects. Blood samples were collected from 32 patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, 20 with hypothyroidism, and 25 matched normal subjects. All the patients were under treatment with levothyroxine and at the time of analysis all of the thyroid function tests were normal. GPx enzyme activity was measured by spectrophotometry at 340 nm. Serum selenium levels were measured by high-resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption. SePP, TPOAb (anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody), and TgAb (anti-thyroglobulin antibody) were determined by ELISA kits. T4, T3, T3 uptake and TSH were also measured. Neither GPx activity nor SePP levels were significantly different in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis or hypothyroidism compared to normal subjects. Although GPx and SePP were both lower in patients with hypothyroidism compared to those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and normal subjects but the difference was not significant. Serum Se levels also did not differ significantly in patients and normal subjects. We did not find any correlation between GPx or SePP with TPOAb or TgAb but SePP was significantly correlated with Se. Results show that in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis or hypothyroidism who have been under treatment with levothyroxine and have normal thyroid function tests, the GPx, SePP and Se levels are not significantly different.

Keywords: Glutathione peroxidase; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; Hypothyroidism; Selenium; Selenoprotein P; Thyroid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood*
  • Hashimoto Disease / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood*
  • Male
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Selenoprotein P / blood*
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland / pathology


  • Selenoprotein P
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Selenium