Maternal selenium nutrition and neonatal immune system development

Maggie L. Dylewski, Andrea M. Mastro, Mary Frances Picciano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We evaluated the impact of dietary selenium intake on neonatal immune cell differentiation and function. A low selenium intake during pregnancy and lactation produced reductions in maternal plasma selenium (33%, p =0.0001), milk selenium (36%, p =0.001), and corresponding neonatal plasma selenium (47%, p =0.008). Thymocytes from neonates receiving low-selenium milk showed an impaired activation in vitro (p =0.001). The percentages of CD8 cytotoxic T cells (p =0.03), CD2 T cells (p =0.09), panB cells ( =0.02), and natural killer cells (p =0.07) were all decreased in neonates nursed by mothers fed a low-selenium diet. The results indicate that maternal selenium intake impacts neonatal selenium status which in turn influences the neonatal immune system development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-127
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 28 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Biology


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