Preventive effect of selenium on T-2 toxin membrane toxicity

Keshavarz SA, Memarbashi A, Balali M.

Dept. of Nutrition and Biochemistry, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, IR Iran.

T-2 toxin, one of the major toxic trichothecene mycotoxines, has been shown to cause effects such as inhibition of protein synthesis and impairement of mitochondrial function. The use of T-2 toxin as chemical warfare in south east Asia and Iran has been reported . It has been suggested that T-2 toxin may mediate its toxic effect via the cell membrane, but mechanism of action is poorly understood. In cytotoxicity studies, erythrocytes are an excellent model system. In the present study different doses of sodium selenite were injected into male albino mice for 6 days every 48 h. Blood samples were taken from experimental and control groups (normal saline). The red cells were counted in isotonic phosphate buffer containing different doses of T-2 toxin. The mixture was incubated at 37 degrees C for 4 h. The results indicate that selenium is able to prevent erythrocyte membrane damage induced by T-2 toxin. The protective effect of selenium may be due to its membrane stabilizing properties, although inhibition of lipid peroxidation is likely, too.