Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Ivan S. Palmer


Selenium was discovered by Berzelius and Gahn in 1817 while they were examining the sediment from a sulfuric acid plant at Gripsholm, Sweden. However, it was not until 1929 that the greatest interest in selenium and its compounds was aroused in relation to its toxic effects in the animal body. At that time, Franke at the South Dakota Experiment Station and other workers discovered that selenium was the toxic agent causing "Alkali disease", a chronic poisoning that affects livestock raised in certain areas of the Great Plains of the United States. It was found that certain plants could take up large amounts of selenium, when present in soil, and these plants could be highly toxic to farm animals. Since this discovery, many efforts have been made to find suitable means of control and protection against selenium toxicity. The discovery of one of the first protective factors was made by Moxon in 1938. He demonstrated the remarkable ability of arsenic to protect against selenium toxicity. From this original observation, a wealth of experimentation has been generated including the demonstration that arsenic exerts its effect by increasing the biliary excretion of selenium. The studies reported here are an attempt to investigate more thoroughly this metabolic antagonism between arsenic and selenium, and to characterize the forms of selenium in the bile of rats treated with arsenic.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Arsenic -- Therapeutic use
Selenium -- Physiological effect



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State