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Effects of selenium on the vessel walls and anti-elastin antibodies in spontaneously hypertensive rats.


Selenium (Se) is an exogenous antioxidant that performs its role via expression of selenoproteins. Pathological changes of the structure of the vessel wall, elastin turnover and collagen production may lead to increased stiffness of the vessels with decreased blood flow to the peripheries. The level of anti-elastin antibodies (AEABs) may give information for elastin metabolism. The aim of the study is to investigate the influence of Se intake on the vessel wall changes and production of AEABs in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Twenty-four male, 32-week-old SHR were used, divided into three groups, G1, G2 and G3. Before blood and morphological testing, G1 received a low-Se diet for eight weeks, G2 received a diet with adequate Se content and G3 received a diet with Se supplementation. The Se nutritional status was assessed by determination of glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPx-1) activity in whole blood, using the 'Ransel' kit. The rats from group G3 showed higher GPx-1 activity and lower level of AEABs than the other groups (P = 0.021), and the aortic wall histology showed slight degenerative changes compared with other rats. A low-Se diet caused severe changes to the aortic wall's ultrastructure, whereas Se supplementation slowed the changes down. The morphometry revealed a thicker abdominal aortic wall in rats of G1 compared with the other groups, and reduced thickness of the wall of the left coronary artery in G3 compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). Our results have shown that low Se intake leads to severe changes in the vessel walls in SHR, whereas selenium supplementation slows down the elastin degradation and degenerative changes of the vessel walls.


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  • Authors+Show Affiliations


    Department of Physiology, Medical University-Pleven, 1 Kliment Ohridski Street, Pleven, Bulgaria.

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    Animal Feed
    Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
    Endothelium, Vascular
    Glutathione Peroxidase
    Oxidative Stress
    Rats, Inbred SHR

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID