Clinical data suggest that selenium (Se) supplementation decreases disease predisposition and severity and accelerates recovery in a variety of pathologies. Pre-supplementation Se levels and sex represent important determinants of these Se-dependent health effects. Accordingly, we previously reported on sexually dimorphic expression patterns of Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase 1, type I deiodinase, and selenoprotein P in young mice. In the present study we investigated whether these differences vary with age. The strong sexual dimorphic expression of hepatic type I deiodinase that was observed in young mice vanished both at the mRNA and enzyme activity level by 1 year of age. In contrast, the strong sex-specific differences in renal type I deiodinase mRNA expression were sustained with age. Accordingly, deiodinase enzymatic activities differed in male and female kidneys, largely independent of age [average of 6.8 vs. 15.7 pmol/(min mg) in males vs. females]. In parallel, hepatic Se concentrations and glutathione peroxidase activities increased in female mice compared to male littermates, establishing a new sexual dimorphism in liver. Thus, age represents another important modifier of the dynamic sex- and tissue-specific selenoprotein expression patterns. These data highlight again the unique physiological regulatory mechanisms that have evolved to control Se metabolism according to the actual needs of the organism.
Biological Chemistry keeps you up-to-date with the latest advances in the molecular life sciences. The journal publishes Research Articles, Short Communications, Reviews and Minireviews. Areas include: general biochemistry/pathobiochemistry, structural biology, molecular and cellular biology, genetics and epigenetics, virology, molecular medicine, plant molecular biology/biochemistry and novel experimental methodologies.