An important role for selenium in immune processes has been described, with selenium appearing to affect non-specific immune indices, humoral immunity, cell-mediated immunity and cytotoxicity. Whereas low plasma selenium levels have been correlated with decreased natural killer (NK) cell activity, as well as proliferative response of lymphocytes to mitogens in vitro, supplementation with selenium has been associated with enhanced lymphocyte response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and pokeweed (PWM) and with enhanced NK activity when administered in physiological ranges, but not at pharmacological doses. The investigation of selenium status in HIV-1 infection is of particular interest, in light of studies documenting low plasma selenium levels and decreased glutathionine peroxidase activity in adult patients with AIDS. Moreover, alterations in selenium levels have been associated with immune dysregulation in early HIV-1 infection. As examination of pediatric nutritional status in HIV-1 disease has been restricted in scope, this study was designed to characterize selenium status and examine its relationship to immune function, in HIV-1 infected children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nutrition and Dietetics