Most of the Se in human serum is bound to selenoprotein P (SEPP1) in which Se is present in form of selenocysteine. The SEPP1 is a new possible biomarker for the Se status and for this reason we developed a fast, simple and reliable method for the quantitative determination of SEPP1 in serum by affinity chromatography coupled to ICP-MS. It is possible to separate SEPP1 from other selenoproteins in serum in only 5 min, which allows high sample throughput in clinical laboratories. Measured and certified concentrations of total Se and Se(SEPP1) are in good agreement for the reference material SRM 1950. The SEPP1 concentration was stable in serum samples of 3 persons for a minimum of 2 weeks. Further results of method validation were described including internal and external quality assurance. The analytical method was applied for a biomonitoring study of the SEPP1 and total Se concentration in human serum of 50 occupationally non-exposed persons living in northern Germany. Concentration ranges and mean concentrations for Se(SEPP1) are 31.1-59.7 and 46.2 μg/L, respectively. The corresponding values for total Se are 62-120 and 83.5 μg/L. The mean percentage of total Se in serum present as SEPP1 is 58%.
Keywords: Affinity chromatography; Biomonitoring; Concentration ranges; ICP-MS; Selenium; Selenoprotein P.
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