Modification of the effects of aflatoxin B1 and warfarin in young pigs given selenium

Am J Vet Res. 1983 Oct;44(10):1877-83.


Selenium may be related to the hepatic metabolism of the coumarin compounds aflatoxin B1 and warfarin. Selenium evidently increased the pharmacologic activity of warfarin, probably due to a displacement of warfarin from albumin by selenium, the close relationship among selenium, vitamin E, and sulphur-containing groups (eg, glutathione), or the antioxidant effect of selenium. A diet containing selenium in a concentration of 2.5 mg/kg of feed was protective against the toxic effects of both coumarins in pigs given 4 daily oral doses of 0.2 mg/kg of body weight. Selenium, as glutathione peroxidase, at least in part, protects the hepatic cells against the toxic effects of aflatoxin B1 and warfarin. The protection was demonstrated by alteration of clinical responses and hematologic (prothrombin times), electrophoretic, and clinical chemistry values. It also was demonstrated that selenium at 2.5 mg/kg of feed does not produce toxic effects; however, dietary selenium at a concentration of 5 mg/kg (and in the presence of both toxic agents) was toxic for young pigs within the 3-week experimental period. Warfarin was more active as an anticoagulant than aflatoxin B1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Aflatoxins / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet
  • Drug Interactions
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Prothrombin Time / veterinary
  • Selenious Acid
  • Selenium / administration & dosage*
  • Selenium / pharmacology*
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / chemically induced
  • Swine Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Warfarin / toxicity*


  • Aflatoxins
  • Blood Proteins
  • Warfarin
  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Selenious Acid
  • Selenium