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Species-dependent Effective Concentration of DTPA in Plasma for Chelation of 241Am

Sueda, Katsuhiko; Sadgrove, Matthew P.; Jay, Michael; Di Pasqua, Anthony J.

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e318290ca33

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) is a chelating agent that is used to facilitate the elimination of radionuclides such as americium from contaminated individuals. Its primary site of action is in the blood, where it competes with various biological ligands, including transferrin and albumin, for the binding of radioactive metals. To evaluate the chelation potential of DTPA under these conditions, the competitive binding of 241Am between DTPA and plasma proteins was studied in rat, beagle, and human plasma in vitro. Following incubation of DTPA and 241Am in plasma, the 241Am-bound ligands were fractionated by ultrafiltration and ion-exchange chromatography, and each fraction was assayed for 241Am content by gamma scintillation counting. Dose response curves of DTPA for 241Am binding were established, and these models were used to calculate the 90% maximal effective concentration, or EC90, of DTPA in each plasma system. The EC90 were determined to be 31.4, 15.9, and 10.0 μM in rat, beagle, and human plasma, respectively. These values correspond to plasma concentrations of DTPA that maximize 241Am chelation while minimizing excess DTPA. Based on the pharmacokinetic profile of DTPA in humans, after a standard 30 μmol kg−1 intravenous bolus injection, the plasma concentration of DTPA remains above EC90 for approximately 5.6 h. Likewise, the effective duration of DTPA in rat and beagle were determined to be 0.67 and 1.7 h, respectively. These results suggest that species differences must be considered when translating DTPA efficacy data from animals to humans and offer further insights into improving the current DTPA treatment regimen.

*University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, 120 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7362.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Michael Jay or Anthony J. Di Pasqua, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 120 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7362, or email at or

(Manuscript accepted 4 March 2013)

© 2013 by the Health Physics Society