Selenium has been considered as an essential trace element in mammals and its intake comes mainly from food. Mammals can metabolize both inorganic and organic species, and urinary excretion is the primary elimination route of selenium. Selenosugars and trimethylselenonium ion have been identified as major urinary metabolites. Other metabolites have been reported, but they were detected in some studies and not in others. Still, a large portion of the ingested selenium eliminated from the body is unknown. Volatile selenium species may account for a certain portion of the unknown species since they can easily be lost during sample analyses. While we analyzed male golden hamster urine in search of potential volatile pheromone(s), four volatile selenium compounds were detected. They were dimethyl selenenylsulfide, dimethyl diselenide, dimethyl bis(thio)selenide, and dimethyl selenodisulfide. When the urine samples were aged and dried for 48 h, dimethyl selenodisulfide tended to increase, while others decreased. The increase might be due to the formation of dimethyl selenodisulfide via reaction of dimethyl diselenide and dimethyl trisulfide whose concentration increased as urine aged. To our knowledge, dimethyl bis(thio)selenide and dimethyl selenodisulfide have never been demonstrated in urine. It remains to be determined whether these species are common metabolites in other animals or hamster-specific.
Animals Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometrymethods Male Mesocricetusurine Organoselenium Compoundsurine Reproducibility of Results Seleniumurine Sensitivity and Specificity Solid Phase Microextractionmethods Sulfidesurine Urinalysismethods Volatile Organic Compoundsurine