Selenoprotein expression in macrophages is critical for optimal clearance of parasitic helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis

Shakira M. Nelson, Ashley E. Shay, Jamaal L. James, Bradley A. Carlson, Joseph F. Urban, K. Sandeep Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The plasticity of macrophages is evident in helminthic parasite infections, providing protection from inflammation. Previously we demonstrated that the micronutrient selenium induces a phenotypic switch in macrophage activation from a classically activated (pro-inflammatory; M1/CAM) toward an alternatively activated (anti-inflammatory; M2/AAM) phenotype, where cyclooxygenase (COX)-dependent cyclopentenone prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) plays a key role. Here, we hypothesize that dietary selenium modulates macrophage polarization toward an AAM phenotype to assist in the increasing clearance of adult Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, a gastrointestinal nematode parasite. Mice on a selenium-adequate (0.08 ppm) diet significantly augmented intestinal AAM presence while decreasing adult worms and fecal egg production when compared with infection of mice on selenium-deficient (<0.01 ppm) diet. Further increase in dietary selenium to supraphysiological levels (0.4 ppm) had very little or no impact on worm expulsion. Normal adult worm clearance and enhanced AAM marker expression were observed in the selenium-supplemented Trspfl/flCreWT mice that express selenoproteins driven by tRNASec (Trsp), whereas N. brasiliensis-infected Trspfl/flCreLysM selenium-supplemented mice showed a decreased clearance, with lowered intestinal expression of several AAM markers. Inhibition of the COX pathway with indomethacin resulted in delayed worm expulsion in selenium-adequate mice. This was rescued with 15d-PGJ2, which partially recapitulated the effect of selenium supplementation on fecal egg output in addition to increasing markers of AAMs in the small intestine. Antagonism of PPARγ blocked the effect of selenium. These results suggest that optimal expression of selenoproteins and selenium-dependent production of COX-derived endogenous prostanoids, such as Δ12- PGJ2 and 15d-PGJ2, may regulate AAM activation to enhance anti-helminthic parasite responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2787-2798
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 5 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Selenoprotein expression in macrophages is critical for optimal clearance of parasitic helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this