Embryotoxicity and dose-response relationships of selenium in hamsters.
Reprod Toxicol. 1990;4(3):183-90. PMID: 1967009
Department of Anatomy, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03756.
Pregnant hamsters were treated with selenite, selenate, and selenomethionine during the critical stages of embryogenesis. The dosing regimens were oral, intravenous, and osmotic minipump infusion. Malformations, mainly encephaloceles, were noted with oral and intravenous selenite and selenate but were associated with maternal toxicity manifested by inanition and weight loss. Fetal body weights and lengths were reduced in a dose-dependent manner with the inorganic forms. Single oral doses of selenomethionine above 77 mumol/kg induced similar malformations but not when the dose was delivered orally over four days nor by minipump over several days. Fetal body weights and lengths were decreased by selenomethionine in a dose-dependent manner. Maternal toxicity was pronounced with the higher doses of selenomethionine. Assigning a specific teratogenic effect to selenium is confounded by maternal toxicity.