Organoselenotriazoles attenuate oxidative damage induced by mitochondrial dysfunction in mev-1 Caenorhabditis elegans mutants

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2019 May;53:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.01.017. Epub 2019 Jan 31.


Organic selenium compounds have several pharmacological activities already described, as anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities, which have been attributed to their antioxidant effects. Because they are promising in pharmacology, the synthesis of these compounds has increased significantly. As many new molecules are synthesized the use of a simple model like Caenorhabditis elegans is highly advantageous for initial evaluation of the toxicity and therapeutic potential of these molecules. The objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity and antioxidant capacity of a series of selenotriazoles compounds in C. elegans. The animals were exposed to the compounds in liquid medium for only 30 min at the first larval stage (L1). The compounds had no toxic effects at the concentrations tested. Treatment with selenotriazoles (10 μM) partially reversed the stress induced by the pesticide paraquat (1 mM). Se-Tz Ia compound partially increased the survival of worms treated with H2O2 (0.5 mM). The compounds also increased the longevity of mev-1 mutants, which have a reduced life span by the production of excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the mitochondria caused by a mutation in complex II of the electron transport chain. In addition, the compounds reduced the levels of ROS determined by the fluorescent probe DCF-DA as well as also reduced catalase enzyme activity in these animals. Based on the results found, it is possible to conclude that the compounds have antioxidant activity mainly in oxidative stress condition generated by a mitochondrial dysfunction in C. elegans.

Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; Selenium; Selenotriazoles.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azides / chemistry
  • Azides / pharmacology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / drug effects*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytochromes b / genetics*
  • Cytochromes b / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / analysis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Selenium Compounds / chemistry
  • Selenium Compounds / pharmacology*


  • Azides
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • MEV-1 protein, C elegans
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Selenium Compounds
  • Cytochromes b