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Absorption of uranium through the entire gastrointestinal tract of the rat

I. DUBLINEAU, S. GRISON, C. BAUDELIN, N. DUDOIGNON, M. SOUIDI, C. MARQUETTE, F. PAQUET, J. AIGUEPERSE & P. GOURMELON


Int. J. Radiat. Biol., Vol. 81, No. 6, June 2005, pp. 473 - 482

Summary

The aim was to determine the gastrointestinal segments preferentially implicated in the absorption of uranium. The apparent permeability to uranium (233U) was measured ex vivo in Ussing chambers to assess uranium passage in the various parts of the small and large intestines. The transepithelial electrical parameters (potential difference, short-circuit current, transepithelial resistance and tissue conductance) were also recorded for each segment. Determination of in vivo uranium absorption after in-situ deposition of 233U in digestive segments (buccal cavity, ileum and proximal colon) and measurements of uranium in peripheral blood were then made to validate the ex vivo results. In addition, autoradiography was performed to localize the presence of uranium in the digestive segments. The in vivo experiments indicated that uranium absorption from the digestive tract was restricted to the small intestine (with no absorption from the buccal cavity, stomach or large intestine).
The apparent permeability to uranium measured with ex vivo techniques was similar in the various parts of small intestine. In addition, the experiments demonstrated the existence of a transcellular pathway for uranium in the small intestine. The study indicates that uranium absorption from the gastrointestinal tract takes place exclusively in the small intestine, probably via a transcellular pathway.
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