Department of Family Medicine, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
Inefficient arsenic methylation capacity has been associated with developmental delay in preschool children. Selenium has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect experimental animals from chemically induced neurotoxicity. The present study was designed to explore whether plasma selenium levels affects arsenic methylation capacity related to developmental delay in preschool children. A case-control study was conducted from August 2010 to March 2014. All participants were recruited from the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Teaching Hospital. In total, 178 children with a developmental delay and 88 children without a delay were recruited. High-performance liquid chromatography-linked hydride generator and atomic absorption spectrometry were used to determine urinary arsenic species, including arsenite (AsIII), arsenate (AsV), monomethylarsonic acid (MMAV), and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV). Plasma selenium levels were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. As results, plasma selenium concentration was significantly inversely associated with the odds ratio (OR) of developmental delay. Plasma selenium concentration was positively associated with arsenic methylation capacity [percentage of inorganic arsenic and percentage of MMAV (MMAV%) decreased, and percentage of DMAV (DMAV%) increased]. High plasma selenium concentration and high DMA% significantly and additively interacted to decrease the OR of developmental delay; the OR and 95% confidence interval were 0.40 (0.18-0.90). This is the first study to show a combined dose-response effect of plasma selenium concentration and that efficient arsenic methylation capacity decreased the OR of developmental delay in preschool children.