The present study compared the protective effect of sodium selenite (SS) and selenomethionine (SeMet) on heat stress (HS)-invoked porcine IPEC-J2 cellular damage and integrate potential roles of corresponding selenoprotein. Cells were cultured at 37°C until 80 % confluence and then subjected to four different conditions for 24 h: at 37°C (control), 41·5°C (HS), 41·5°C supplied with 0·42 µmol Se/L SS (SS), or SeMet (SeMet). HS significantly decreased cell viability, up-regulated mRNA and protein levels of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and down-regulated mRNA and protein levels of tight junction-related proteins (claudin-1 (CLDN-1) and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1)). HS-induced cell injury was associated with the up-regulation (P < 0·05) of six inflammation-related genes and fourteen selenoprotein encoding genes and down-regulation (P < 0·05) of two inflammation-related genes and five selenoprotein encoding genes. Compared with the HS group, SS and SeMet supplementation resulted in an increase (P < 0·05) in cell viability, decreased (P < 0·05) mRNA expression of HSP70 and six inflammation-related genes and rescue (P < 0·05) of mRNA and protein levels of CLDN-1 and ZO-1. SS and SeMet supplementation changes the expressions of nineteen selenoprotein encoding genes in cells affected by HS. Both Se supplementation significantly recovered the protein level of glutathione peroxidase-1 and increased selenoprotein P in the IPEC-J2 cells under HS, respectively. In summary, Se supplementation alleviated the negative impact of HS on IPEC-J2 cells, and their cellular protective effect was associated with regulation expression of selenoproteins, and SeMet exhibited a better protective effect.