The effects of selenium polysaccharide and sodium selenite administered by single or repetitive intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) on blood selenium concentration, the activities of liver cytochrome P450, b5 as well as NAD(P)H cytochrome C reductase, glutathione S-transferase and glutathione were studied in rats. The biological effects of selenium polysaccharide and sodium selenite were also compared. The results indicated that the blood selenium concentration was increased rapidly and reached the peak in 2 hours followed by gradual decline after selenium polysaccharide and sodium selenite were i.p. injected at a dose of Se 0.6 mg/kg. The absorption and eliminating rates of Se from sodium selenite were faster than that from selenium polysaccharide. Administration of selenium polysaccharide and sodium selenite at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg by i.p. increased the blood selenium concentration to 2.6 and 2.1 times of those of control group, respectively, and the blood selenium concentration of selenium polysaccharide group was significantly higher than that of sodium selenite group (P < 0.05). The activities of liver cytochrome P450, b5 and GST were inhibited by selenium polysaccharide and sodium selenium in vivo and in vitro experiments. Those proteins were decreased to 57%, 70% and 62% of the control, respectively, by selenium polysaccharide which has particularly stronger effects on cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase system (P < 0.05). The two selenium compounds did not appear to affect the activity of NAD(P)H cytochrome C reductase. Both of the selenium polysaccharide and sodium selenite could enhance the activity of glutathion peroxidase significantly (P < 0.05).