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Biokinetics of Systemically Distributed 60Co in the Rat

An Experimental Model Useful in Evaluating Medical Countermeasures for Internal Contamination

Weber, Waylon*; Doyle-Eisele, Melanie*; Seilkop, Steven K.; Guilmette, Raymond*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31826248d1

LBERI, a member of the Medical Countermeasures to Radiologic Threats (MCART) consortium funded by NIAID, was tasked to develop biokinetic models for the distribution of radionuclide threats using the most likely routes of incorporation in both small and large animals. In this paper, the biokinetics of systemically administered soluble 60Co have been examined. Male and female jugular-vein-catheterized (JVC) F344 rats received intravenous (IV) doses of 11.2 kBq of 60CoCl2. The distribution of the radiocobalt was followed for 28 d with tissue sampling done at 1 and 4 h, and at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 28 d. Urine and feces were collected daily. Tissues and excreta were analyzed by gamma pulse height analysis. Within 8 d, 93% of the cobalt was eliminated from the body, primarily though urine. The highest tissue burdens were found in the liver, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and muscle shortly after administration. These tissues cleared quickly, so that by the conclusion of the 28-d study, less than 3% of the injected dose remained in the body. The results are comparable to published literature values for tissue content of 60Co and for excretion patterns up to 30 d after injection. These results will provide the data needed to construct a biokinetic model for the unperturbed biokinetics of 60Co in rats, which will subsequently be used to evaluate the impact of administered decorporating agents on organ radiation doses. The animal model described in this paper is representative of that used for other routes of radionuclide administration, such as inhalation, ingestion, and wound contamination, that have been studied at LBERI in support of the MCART and NIAID programs.

*Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, 2425 Ridgecrest Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108; †SKS Consulting Services, 3942 Rives Chapel Road, Siler City, NC 27344.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

For correspondence contact: Waylon Weber, 2425 Ridgecrest Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 31 May 2012)

© 2012 by the Health Physics Society