Selenium enhances glutathione peroxidase activity and prostacyclin release in cultured human endothelial cells. Concurrent effects on mRNA levels

Biol Trace Elem Res. Oct-Nov 1994;46(1-2):113-23. doi: 10.1007/BF02790072.


Selenium (Se) is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), an enzyme that protects cells by reducing intracellular peroxides. Impaired Se status and GSH-Px activity seem associated with increased risk of atherosclerotic vascular diseases. This study reports the effects of Se supplementation on GSH-Px activity, on prostacyclin (PGI2) production, on 12-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) levels, and on GSH-Px mRNA expression in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Se-enriched HUVEC showed significant increase of both GSH-Px activity and thrombin-stimulated production of PGI2 in the presence of stable concentrations of 12-HETE. On the other hand, an inverse correlation between Se concentrations in culture media and GSH-Px mRNA levels in Northern blot analysis was shown; this suggests that a major degree of regulation for GSH-Px expression by Se is most likely exerted at the posttranscriptional level. These observations may help to explain the increased incidence of atherosclerosis described in Se-deficient individuals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 12-Hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic Acid
  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha / analysis
  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / enzymology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Epoprostenol / biosynthesis
  • Epoprostenol / metabolism*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / drug effects*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / genetics
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Selenium / pharmacology*
  • Thrombin / pharmacology
  • Umbilical Veins / drug effects
  • Umbilical Veins / enzymology
  • Umbilical Veins / metabolism


  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha
  • 12-Hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic Acid
  • Epoprostenol
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Thrombin
  • Selenium