Effect of age on sexually dimorphic selenoprotein expression in mice

Lutz Schomburg 1 , 1 , Cornelia Riese 2 , 2 , Kostja Renko 3 , 3  and Ulrich Schweizer 4 , 4
  • 1 Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
  • 2 Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
  • 3 Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
  • 4 Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, D-10117 Berlin, Germany

Abstract

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.

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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.

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