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Am J Physiol. 1983 Apr;244(4):R445-54.

Kinetics of trace element chromium(III) in the human body.


Chromium(III) has been reported to be an essential trace element involved in the control of glucose metabolism by insulin. We have studied the distribution and kinetics of intravenous [51Cr]chromium(III) in six human subjects using a whole-body scintillation scanner, a whole-body counter, and plasma counting. Principal concentrations were found in the liver, spleen, soft tissue, and bone. The data were fit to a model consisting of a plasma pool in equilibrium with fast (T1/2 = 0.5-12 h), medium (1-14 days), and slow (3-12 mo) compartments, and transfer rates were calculated for exchanges between compartments. Each of the imaged organs appeared to contain varying proportions of each compartment. Two patients with hemochromatosis, in which iron overload is postulated to exclude chromium transport, were found to have altered rate constants. The results should be useful in assessing the metabolism and nutritional requirement of chromium(III) in humans and its importance in disease processes such as diabetes.

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