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Selenium, as selenite, prevents adipogenesis by modulating selenoproteins gene expression and oxidative stress-related genes.

Abo El-Magd, Nada F.; Barbosa, Priscila O.; Nick, Julia; Covalero, Viviana; Grignetti, Giacomo; Bermano, Giovanna


Nada F. Abo El-Magd

Priscila O. Barbosa

Julia Nick

Viviana Covalero

Giacomo Grignetti


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the micronutrient selenium, as inorganic selenite, on adipocytes differentiation, and to identify underlying molecular mechanisms to advance the understanding of basic cellular mechanisms associated with adipogenesis. The effect of sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) on cell viability (bromide 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-difeniltetrazol [MTT] assay) in preadipocytes, lipid accumulation (oil red O [ORO] assay) and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS, [NBT assay]) in mature adipocytes, as well as explore molecular mechanisms via gene expression analyses (real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction), before and after differentiation, was investigated using 3T3-L1 murine preadipocytes. Selenite (100, 200, and 400 nM) significantly decreased lipid accumulation during differentiation compared with untreated adipocytes (P < 0.05, 0.001, and 0.01, respectively). Preadipocytes exposure (48 h) to selenite caused an increase in glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1) gene expression in a dose-dependent manner. Adipogenesis significantly increased intracellular reactive oxygen species levels (P < 0.05) while decreasing gene expression of antioxidant enzymes (Gpx1: P < 0.05) and significantly increasing gene expression of regulators of lipid catabolism (type II iodothyronine deiodinase [Dio2], P < 0.01) and markers of differentiation (eg, selenium-binding protein 1 [Selenbp1], peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma [Pparg], CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha [Cebpa], and fatty acid binding protein 4 [Fab4]) compared with preadipocytes (P < 0.01, 0.01, 0.01, and 0.001, respectively). Selenite exposure (200 nM) caused a significant increase in Gpx1, selenoprotein W (Selenow) and selenoprotein P (Selenop) gene expression, in adipocytes compared with untreated ones (P < 0.01, 0.001, and 0.05, respectively) with a significant decrease in heme oxygenase 1 (Ho-1), cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox2), Dio2, and Fabp4 gene expression (P < 0.001, 0.05, 0.05, and 0.01, respectively). Selenium, as selenite, prevented adipogenesis through increasing antioxidant selenoprotein expression, leading to decreased inflammatory markers and, subsequently, to a decrease in differentiation and lipid deposition. These findings, if demonstrated in vivo, could provide valuable data for novel dietary approaches to prevent obesity.


ABO EL-MAGD, N.F., BARBOSA, P.O., NICK, J., COVALERO, V., GRIGNETTI, G. and BERMANO, G. 2022. Selenium, as selenite, prevents adipogenesis by modulating selenoproteins gene expression and oxidative stress-related genes. Nutrition [online], 93, article 111424. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2021
Publication Date Jan 31, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 30, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 30, 2021
Journal Nutrition
Print ISSN 0899-9007
Electronic ISSN 1873-1244
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 93
Article Number 111424
Keywords Adipocytes; Antioxidant; Obesity; Selenium; Selenoproteins
Public URL


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