Effects of selenium in vitro on human T-lymphocyte functions and K-562 tumor cell growth

R. R. Watson, S. Moriguchi, B. McRae, L. Tobin, J. C. Mayberry, D. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In vitro E-rosette formation, lymphocyte mitogenesis, and natural killer (NK) cell activity of human blood lymphocytes were strongly inhibited by high concentrations (10-4 M) of sodium selenite, sodium selenate, and selenium dioxide. Lower concentrations (10-5 or 10-7 M) also inhibited E-rosette formation and natural killer cell activity against K-562 tumor cells. Lymphocyte transformation induced by concanavalin A (con A) or pokeweed mitogen (PWM) was also inhibited by all selenium compounds tested, but only at the highest concentrations (10-5 and 10-4 M). There was depression of the total number of viable lymphocytes following incubation with selenium dioxide only at a high concentration (10-4 M). Interferon production was enhanced at lower levels (10-9 to 10-6 M) of selenium dioxide while a higher concentration (10-5 and 10-4 M) appeared to inhibit its production. The mechanism of inhibition by selenium compounds (10-4 M) is due, in part, to the decrease of viable lymphocytes. It is unclear how other and lower concentrations (10-7 or 10-9 M) of selenium compounds inhibit E-rosette formation, NK activity, or K-562 tumor cell growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-456
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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