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Sci Total Environ. 2012 Mar 15;420:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.01.013. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

A biokinetic model for zinc for use in radiation protection.

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Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.


The physiology of the essential trace element zinc has been studied extensively in human subjects using kinetic analysis of time-dependent measurements of administered zinc tracers. A number of biokinetic models describing zinc exchange between plasma and tissues and endogenous excretion of zinc have been derived as fits to data for specific study groups. More rudimentary biokinetic models for zinc have been developed to estimate radiation doses from internally deposited radioisotopes of zinc. The latter models are designed to provide broadly accurate estimates of cumulative decays of zinc radioisotopes in tissues and are not intended as realistic descriptions of the directions of movement of zinc in the body. This paper reviews biokinetic data for zinc and proposes a physiologically meaningful biokinetic model for systemic zinc for use in radiation protection. The proposed model bears some resemblance to zinc models developed in physiological studies but depicts a finer division of systemic zinc and is based on a broader spectrum of data than previous models. The proposed model and the model for zinc currently recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection yield reasonably similar estimates of total-body retention and effective dose for internally deposited radioisotopes of zinc but much different systemic distributions of activity and much different dose estimates for some individual tissues, particularly the liver.

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