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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2013, Article ID 154045, 8 pages
Review Article

Selenium-Dependent Regulation of Oxidative Stress and Immunity in Periparturient Dairy Cattle

College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, 784 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Received 11 September 2012; Accepted 24 December 2012

Academic Editor: Marta López-Alonso

Copyright © 2013 Lorraine M. Sordillo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Uncontrolled or impaired immune and inflammatory responses in periparturient dairy cows are associated with increased incidence and severity of infectious diseases. The progressive development of oxidative stress during the transition from late gestation to peak lactation is thought to be a significant underlying factor leading to dysfunctional immune cell responses. Certain trace minerals, such as selenium (Se), can ameliorate oxidative stress and reduce the severity of several economically important diseases in dairy cattle including mastitis and metritis. Many of the health benefits of Se can be attributed to the antioxidant functions of selenoproteins. Changes in selenoprotein activity as a consequence of Se nutritional status can directly alter a number of critical cellular functions involved in the inflammatory response. A better understanding of how Se can optimize immune cell responses may facilitate the design of nutritional regimes that will reduce health disorders during the periparturient period.