Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS)

Interactions between different selenium compounds and zinc, cadmium and mercury.

PMID 15966571


In this paper, we present a polarographic study of systems containing different inorganic and organic selenium compounds (sodium selenite, sodium selenate, seleno-methionine and seleno-urea) and metal ions (Zn2+, Cd2+ Hg2+) of the 12th group of elements in the periodic table. While zinc is a trace element known to be essential for plants and animals, cadmium and mercury are exogenous elements and are harmful pollutants that accumulate during aging; selenium is also recognized as an important micronutrient and is sometimes added to the diet. Experiments investigating the interactions were carried out using polarographic techniques in unbuffered systems. The three metal cations originated complexes with different strength and solubility in the presence of selenite anions; in the presence of selenate, polarography was not able to detect formation of complexes with these metal ions, at least under the experimental conditions used: a decrease of Hg2+ ion concentration was observed. Seleno-methionine did not react with Cd2+; in the presence of Zn2+, a soluble complex with a co-ordination number 1 was formed, while, again, the concentration of Hg2+ decreased in the presence of increasing concentrations of the selenium derivative. Seleno-urea did not react with Zn2+, but formed a complex with Cd2+ with limited solubility. Finally, this ligand could not be studied with Hg2+ because of the overlapping of the reduction potentials of both the ligand and the metal cation. Overall equilibrium constants for complex formation (Kf) and the solubility product (Ksp) for poorly soluble species are also reported.

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Selenourea, 98%