Selenium prevents lithium accumulation and does not disturb basic microelement homeostasis in liver and kidney of rats exposed to lithium
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Chair and Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Virology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Chair and Department of Bromatology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Corresponding author
Małgorzata Kiełczykowska   

Chair and Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland, Chodźki 4 a, 20-093, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020;27(1):129-133
Lithium has been used in medicine for almost seventy years. Besides beneficial effects, its therapy may cause serious side-effects, with kidney and liver being the organs most vulnerable to its harmful influence. Therefore, research on protective agents against lithium toxicity has been continuing for some time.

The aim of the present study is to evaluate the influence of additional selenium supplementation on lithium content, as well as homeostasis of the essential microelements iron, zinc, copper and manganese in kidney and liver of rats undergoing lithium exposure.

Material and methods:
The study was performed on 4 groups of male Wistar rats (6 animals each) treated with: control – saline; Li-group – Li2CO3 at a dose of 2.7 mg Li/kg b.w.; Se-group – Na2SeO3 at a dose of 0.5 mg Se/kg b.w.; Li+Se-group – both Li2CO3 and Na2SeO3 at doses of 2.7 mg Li/kg b.w. and of 0.5 mg Se/kg b.w., respectively, in the form of water solutions by stomach tube, once a day for 3 weeks. The content of the studied elements in the organ samples was determined using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS).

Lithium administered alone caused a significant increase in its content in liver and kidney. Additional supplementation with selenium reversed these effects, and did not markedly affect other studied microelements compared to control.

The obtained results suggest that selenium could be regarded as an adjuvant into lithium therapy. However, considering the limitations of the present study (the short duration, using only one dose and form of selenium) the continuation of the research seems to be necessary to clarify the influence of selenium supplementation on basic microelements and lithium accumulation in organs during lithium exposure.

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