Biological implications of selenium in adolescent rats exposed to binge drinking: Oxidative, immunologic and apoptotic balance

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Alcohol intermittent binge drinking (BD) during adolescence decreases the levels of selenium (Se), a trace element that plays a key biological role against oxidative damage in hepatocytes through different selenoproteins such as the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidases (GPx1 and Gpx4) and selenoprotein P (SelP). In this context, it has been found that GPx4 has an essential antioxidant role in mitochondria modulating the apoptosis and NF-kB activation (a factor intimately related to apoptosis and immune function). To further investigate the effectiveness of selenium supplementation in oxidative balance, inflammation and apoptosis, the present study examined the protective effects of 0.4 ppm of dietary selenite administrated to adolescent rats exposed to BD.

BD consumption depleted Se deposits in all the tissues studied. In liver, GPx1 activity and expression were decreased leading to protein and lipid hepatic oxidation. Moreover GPx4 and NF-kB expression were also decreased in liver, coinciding with an increase in caspase-3 expression. This hepatic profile caused general liver damage as shown the increased serum transaminases ratio AST/ALT. Proinflammatory serum citokines and chemocines were decreased. Se supplementation therapy used restored all these values, even AST levels.

These findings suggest for first time that Se supplementation is a good strategy against BD liver damage during adolescence, since it increases GPx1 and GPx4 expression and avoids NF-kB downregulation and caspase-3 upregulation, leading to a better oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic liver profile. The therapy proposed could be considered to have a great biological efficacy and to be suitable for BD exposed teenagers in order to avoid future hepatic complications.

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