Twoyearold male mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) received a control diet (0.2 ppm Se) or diets containing 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 ppm Se as selenomethionine for 14 wk. Se accumulated readily in the liver in a dosedependent manner, reaching a mean concentration of 29 ppm (wet weight) in the 32 ppm group. Dietary Se of 2 ppm or greater increased plasma glutathione peroxidase activity. Mortality (10%) and histopathological effects, including bile duct hyperplasia and hemosiderin pigmentation of the liver and spleen, occurred in the 32 ppm group. These histopathological effects were accompanied by lower hemoglobin concentrations (16 and 32 ppm groups) and hematocrit (32 ppm group), and elevated plasma alkaline phosphatase activity (32 ppm group) indicative of cholestatic liver inJury. Other manifestations of hepatotoxicity included significant linear dose responses for hepatic oxidized glutathione (GSSG) concentrations and ratio of GSSG to reduced glutathione (GSH). Means for both of these responses differed from controls in groups receiving 832 ppm Se. Mean hepatic GSH and malondialdehyde (a measure of lipid peroxidation) concentrations were significantly elevated in the 16 and 32 ppm groups. Subchronic effects of selenomethionine, which occurs in vegetation, are of particular interest with respect to the health of wild aquatic birds in seleniferous locations.
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Subchronic hepatotoxicity of selenomethionine ingestion in mallard ducks