Selenium is an essential micronutrient that plays a crucial role in development and a wide variety of physiological processes including effect immune responses. The immune system relies on adequate dietary selenium intake and this nutrient exerts its biological effects mostly through its incorporation into selenoproteins. The selenoproteome contains 25 members in humans that exhibit a wide variety of functions. The development of high-throughput omic approaches and novel bioinformatics tools has led to new insights regarding the effects of selenium and selenoproteins in human immuno-biology. Equally important are the innovative experimental systems that have emerged to interrogate molecular mechanisms underlying those effects. This review presents a summary of the current understanding of the role of selenium and selenoproteins in regulating immune cell functions and how dysregulation of these processes may lead to inflammation or immune-related diseases.
Keywords: T cell; antibody; cancer; inflammation; macrophage; selenocysteine.