Selenium (Se) is an important element required for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Particularly in macrophages, which play a pivotal role in immune regulation, Se acts as a major antioxidant in the form of selenoproteins to mitigate the cytotoxic effects of reactive oxygen species. Here we describe the role of Se as an anti-inflammatory agent and its effect on the macrophage signal transduction pathways elicited by bacterial endotoxin, LPS. Our studies demonstrate that supplementation of Se to macrophages (Se-deficient) leads to a significant decrease in the LPS-induced expression of two important pro-inflammatory genes, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) via the inhibition of MAP kinase pathways. Furthermore, Se-deficiency in mice exacerbated the LPS-mediated infiltration of macrophages into the lungs suggesting that Se status is a crucial host factor that regulates inflammation. In summary, our results indicate that Se plays an important role as an anti-inflammatory agent by tightly regulating the expression of pro-inflammatory genes in immune cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science