Selenium is an essential element required for activity of several antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase. Because of the critical role of the antioxidant system in responding to traumatic events, we hypothesized that dietary selenium supplementation would enhance neuroprotection in a rodent model of spinal cord injury. Rats were maintained on either a control or selenium-enriched diet prior to, and following, injury. Dietary selenium supplementation, provided as selenized yeast added to normal rat chow, resulted in a doubling of selenium levels in the spinal cord. Dietary selenium reduced the time required for recovery of bladder function following thoracic spinal cord injury. However, this was not accompanied by improvement in locomotor function or tissue sparing.

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Published in PLOS ONE, v. 11, no. 1, e0147716, p. 1-12.

© 2016 Meyer et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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CAM was supported by NIH T32 NS07789 and the research was supported by NIH P30 NS051220, the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust, and the Admiral Sheeley Endowment for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research (JWG). Alltech Inc. (Nicholasville, KY) provided support in the form of salary for RFP and animal diets, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.