Monomeric or polymeric plutonium was injected intravenously into beagles and CF # 1 mice for the purpose of comparing total body distribution of the two forms of this actinide in these species. Blood clearance rate, intralobar liver distribution, and urinary and fecal excretion were also determined for the dog. Monomeric plutonium was cleared from dog blood less rapidly than polymeric plutonium. During the first 15 min only 20% (vs 99%) had left the circulation. At sacrifice, 6 days postinjection, significantly more monomeric plutonium remained in the blood although the amount of each form was less than 1%. Monomeric plutonium was deposited chiefly in liver and skeleton of both species. Polymeric plutonium was deposited in liver, spleen, and lungs, with a comparatively small amount deposited in the skeleton. Autoradiographic measurements of plutonium deposition within the dog liver lobe showed a relatively homogeneous distribution of monomeric plutonium, whereas polymeric plutonium tended to be associated with sinusoidal (phagocytic) cells at the center of the liver lobe. The roles of phagocytosis and protein binding in plutonium transport and retention, with possible implications for man, are discussed.

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