Monomeric 239-plutonium was injected intravenously into beagle dogs to determine the effectiveness of DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) and glucan, a polysaccharide derived from yeast cell walls, as agents for plutonium decorporation. DTPA therapy (100 mg/kg) was initiated six days after plutonium injection and continued, on a twice weekly basis, for 84 days. Glucan (15 mg/kg), given in conjunction with DTPA to a second group of dogs, was administered on days 6, 34, and 62. Control animals received sterile saline in place of both DTPA and glucan. When all animals were sacrificed on day 90, the liver burden in control dogs was the same as previously determined at day 6. DTPA therapy removed over 96% of this plutonium; removal from spleen, lungs, kidneys, testes, muscle, and lymph nodes ranged between 50 and 90%. The total skeletal content was also reduced by 50%. Adjunct therapy with glucan did not result in significant additional removal of plutonium, probably because of the high effectiveness of DTPA given alone. Species differences in the deposition of plutonium in liver as related to the effectiveness of DTPA therapy, with possible implications for man, are discussed.

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