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Effects of Duration of Fast and Animal Age on the Gastrointestinal Absorption of Plutonium

M. H. Bhattacharyya, R. P. Larsen, R. D. Oldham, E. S. Moretti and M. I. Spaletto
Radiation Research
Vol. 107, No. 1 (Jul., 1986), pp. 73-82
DOI: 10.2307/3576851
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3576851
Page Count: 10
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Effects of Duration of Fast and Animal Age on the Gastrointestinal Absorption of Plutonium
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Abstract

The fraction of plutonium absorbed after oral administration of Pu(VI) to 24-h-fasted mice was $19\times 10^{-4}$, 13-fold higher than in fed mice, $1.4\times 10^{-4}$. We have investigated the relevance of the high gastrointestinal (GI) absorption value for the 24-h-fasted animals in setting drinking water standards for humans. When fasting was initiated at the beginning of the active phase of the mouse's daily activity cycle (when they would normally eat), plutonium GI absorption rose from $2.8\times 10^{-4}$ at zero-time to a level typical of the 24-h-fasted mouse after only 2 h of fasting. In contrast, in mice allowed to eat for 4 h into their active phase prior to initiation of the fast (meal-fed mice), 8 h of fasting were required before GI absorption rose to a level similar to that of the 24-h-fasted mouse. The fraction of plutonium retained after gavage administration of Pu(VI) to 1-day-old rats was $74\times 10^{-4}$, 70-fold higher than the value for fed adults. Retention after GI absorption in neonates remained 30- to 70-fold higher than in adults until weaning. One week after weaning, the fraction absorbed and retained by fed weanling rats was the same as that for fed adults, 1× 10-4. Drinking water standards for plutonium have been set based on GI absorption values for fed adult animals. The 10- to 100-fold increases in plutonium absorption in young and fasted animals reported by ourselves and others, and the rapid rise to fasted levels of absorption at the start of the animal's active phase, indicate that consideration should be given to elevated levels of plutonium absorption in young and fasted individuals.

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