High-throughput quantification of selenium in individual serum proteins from a healthy human population using HPLC on-line with isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma-MS Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, a method, based on dual column affinity chromatography hyphenated to isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma-quadrupole MS, was developed for selenium determination in selenoprotein P, glutathione peroxidase, and selenoalbumin in human serum samples from a group of healthy volunteers (n=399). Method improvement was achieved using methanol-enhanced isotope dilution which resulted in improved sensitivity and removal of isobaric interferences. Although no human serum reference materials are currently certified for their selenium species levels, method development was conducted using human serum reference material BCR 637 and 639 as their Se species content has been reported in the previous studies, and thus comparisons were possible. The mean selenium concentrations determined for the 399 healthy volunteer serum samples were 23 ± 10 ng Se mL(-1) for glutathione peroxidase, 49 ± 15 ng Se mL(-1) for selenoprotein P and 11 ± 4 ng Se mL(-1) for selenoalbumin. These values are found to be in close agreement with published values for a limited number of healthy volunteer samples, and to establish baseline Se levels in serum proteins for an apparently healthy group of individuals, thus allowing for subsequent comparisons with respective values determined for groups of individuals with selenium related health issues, as well as assist in the discovery of potential selenium biomarkers. Also, the relationship between Se serum protein levels and some anthropometric characteristics of the volunteer population were investigated. Additionally, further development of the analytical method used in this study was achieved by adding a size exclusion chromatography column after the two affinity columns via a switching valve. This allowed for the separation of small selenium-containing molecules from glutathione peroxidase and thus enhanced the overall confidence in its identification.


  • Letsiou, Sophia
  • Lu, Ying
  • Nomikos, Tzortzis
  • Antonopoulou, Smaragdi
  • Panagiotakos, Demosthenes
  • Pitsavos, Christos
  • Stefanadis, Christodoulos
  • Pergantis, Spiros A

publication date

  • October 1, 2010