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Dietary Selenium (Se) and Copper (Cu) Interact to Affect Homocysteine Metabolism in Rats
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Previously, we reported that both Se deficiency and Cu deficiency decreased plasma homocysteine (pHcys) and increased plasma glutathione (pGSH) in rats. We also showed that the catalytic subunit of glutamate-cysteine ligase (Gclc), which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in glutathione biosynthesis, was upregulated in Se and Cu deficiencies. We suggested that in both deficiencies, Hcys was being shunted through the trans-sulfuration pathway as a result of this up-regulation. Because both Se and Cu deficiencies have similar effects, we hypothesized that a combined deficiency would exacerbate the decrease in pHcys and the increase in pGSH by further up-regulating Gclc. In a 2 x 2 experiment, male weanling Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 8-20/group) were fed an amino-acid-based diet containing either 0 or 0.2 μg Se (as selenite)/g and <1 or 6 μg Cu (as Cu carbonate)/g for 5 weeks. Our findings show that a combined deficiency of both Se and Cu results in lower pHcys and significantly elevated pGSH. However, the up-regulation of liver Gclc alone cannot explain why rats fed with the doubly deficient diet have the lowest pHcys and the highest pGSH.
Uthus, Eric O.
amino acid metabolism
Biological trace element research 2009 June, v. 129, no. 1-3
New York : Humana Press Inc
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