Oxygen Club of California World Congress, Santa Barbara, CA Poster (2000 Mar 1-4)

Nutritional implications of selenium in subjects with Down's syndrome

T. Westermarck, E. Antila, E. Johansson, F. Atroshi
Helsinki Central Institution for Mentally Retarded, Kirkonummi, Finland; Clinical Research Center, Huddinge Hospital, Sweden; Dept of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland

Down's syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation.Development of the DS brain is associated with decreased neuronal number and abnormal neuronal differentiation. Recent research has suggested an intriguing link between antioxidants and DS. The antioxidant defence system enzymes have shown to be altered due to increased gene dosage on chromosome 21 and over production of superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) or Cu/Zn SOD). We have studied the activities of SOD-1 and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) enzymes and the levels of their cofactors zinc, copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and selenium (Se) in blood mononuclear cells (BMN) of 15 Down syndrome patients and 9 control (age and sex-matched) subjects after selenium supplementation (sodium selenite 0.015-0.025 mg/kg/day). Selenium supplementation decreased by 50% the elevated mononuclear cell copper content in DS patients. The Fe and Cu levels were higher, and Zn level was lower in the DS-patients than in control subjects. These results suggests that free radical damage could be contributing to the development or course of dementia. Therefore, antioxidant diet supplements are recommended.
Biol Trace Elem Res 54 (3): 201-6 (1996 Sep)

Changed serum trace element profile in Down's syndrome

Kadrabova J, Madaric A, Šustrová M, Ginter E
Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Being cofactors of important antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which are significantly modified in Down's syndrome (trisomy 21), serum levels of microtrace elements zinc, copper, and selenium and of macroelement magnesium are reported in 16 subjects with Down's syndrome (DS) and their respective well age- and sex-matched controls. Serum zinc and selenium levels were significantly lowered in DS subjects, whereas copper levels were elevated. Consequently, a marked increase (40%) of the copper/zinc ratio in DS persons was observed. There were no differences in serum levels of magnesium between DS and control subjects.
Arch Dis Child 65 (12): 1353-5 (1990 Dec)

Increase in serum concentrations of IgG2 and IgG4 by selenium supplementation in children with Down's syndrome

Annerén G, Magnusson CG, Nordvall SL
Department of Clinical Genetics, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden

In a previous study on children with Down's syndrome a reduced rate of infections was reported by their parents after the children had received six months' treatment with selenium supplements. In the present study the concentrations of the four IgG subclasses were measured in 29 of these children in samples of serum obtained before and immediately after the period of supplementation and one year after it had finished. Selenium had a significant augmentative effect on the serum concentrations of IgG2 and IgG4, but not of IgG1 and IgG3. This effect was not related to age, as among children over the age of 6 years the serum concentrations of IgG2 and IgG4 had decreased significantly one year after the treatment had been stopped. This study suggests that selenium has an immunoregulatory effect, which might be of importance in both basic research and clinical practice.
Clin Chim Acta 133(2): 209-14 (1983 Sep 30)

Selenium, zinc and copper in Down's syndrome (trisomy 21): blood levels and relations with glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase

Neve J, Sinet PM, Molle L, Nicole A

Increased superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities have been reported in erythrocytes of subjects with Down's syndrome. Since these enzymes contain specific trace-elements as essential components, we have determined copper, zinc and selenium levels in plasma and erythrocytes of 29 trisomy 21 patients compared with 32 age-matched controls and examined the relations with the enzymes' activities. In plasma, mean zinc and copper levels were normal, but selenium was found to be significantly decreased (p less than 0.001). In red cells, the increase of activity of the selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase (p less than 0.001) was not accompanied by an increase of erythrocyte selenium, but a significant correlation was found between these two values (r = 0.67, p less than 0.001). Zinc and copper levels in red cells were significantly higher than normal (p less than 0.001) and this increase could be partly explained by the increased activity of the copper and zinc containing enzyme superoxide dismutase (p less than 0.001). Low plasma selenium and the strong relation between erythrocyte selenium and glutathione peroxidase activity we found in Down's syndrome should stimulate interest in a more detailed investigation of selenium status and metabolism of these patients.