Selenium and selenoproteins in adipose tissue physiology and obesity

Alexey A. Tinkov, Olga P. Ajsuvakova, Tommaso Filippini, Ji Chang Zhou, Xin Gen Lei, Eugenia R. Gatiatulina, Bernhard Michalke, Margarita G. Skalnaya, Marco Vinceti, Michael Aschner, Anatoly V. Skalny

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Selenium (Se) homeostasis is tightly related to carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, but its possible roles in obesity development and in adipocyte metabolism are unclear. The objective of the present study is to review the current data on Se status in obesity and to discuss the interference between Se and selenoprotein metabolism in adipocyte physiology and obesity pathogenesis. The overview and meta-analysis of the studies on blood Se and selenoprotein P (SELENOP) levels, as well as glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity in obese subjects, have yielded heterogenous and even conflicting results. Laboratory studies demonstrate that Se may modulate preadipocyte proliferation and adipogenic differentiation, and also interfere with insulin signaling, and regulate lipolysis. Knockout models have demonstrated that the selenoprotein machinery, including endoplasmic reticulum-resident selenoproteins together with GPXs and thioredoxin reductases (TXNRDs), are tightly related to adipocyte development and functioning. In conclusion, Se and selenoproteins appear to play an essential role in adipose tissue physiology, although human data are inconsistent. Taken together, these findings do not support the utility of Se supplementation to prevent or alleviate obesity in humans. Further human and laboratory studies are required to elucidate associations between Se metabolism and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number658
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Adipocyte
  • Adipogenesis
  • Obesity
  • Selenium
  • Selenoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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