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A low-selenium diet increases thyroxine and decreases 3,5,3′triiodothyronine in the plasma of kittens


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The effect of a low-selenium diet on thyroid hormone metabolism was investigated in growing kittens. Twelve specific-pathogen-free kittens with ages ranging from 16 to 18 weeks were divided into two groups of equal number with equal sex distribution in each group. One group was fed a yeast-based low-selenium diet (0.02 mg Se/kg diet) while the other group was fed the same diet supplemented with Na2SeO3 at 0.4 mg Se/kg diet for 8 weeks. Food intake, body weight and body weight gain were not affected by the low-Se diet during the study period. However, kittens given the low-Se diet had significantly reduced plasma selenium concentration and glutathione peroxidase activity. Plasma total thyroxine (T4) increased and total 3,5,3′triiodothyronine (T3) decreased significantly in kittens fed the low-Se diet at the end of the study. These results suggest that type I deiodinase in cats is a selenoprotein- or a selenium-dependent enzyme.