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Dose Response. 2012;10(3):405-14. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.11-052.Iavicoli. Epub 2012 Jan 16.

Sub-Chronic Oral Exposure to Iridium (III) Chloride Hydrate in Female Wistar Rats: Distribution and Excretion of the Metal.

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Institute of Occupational Medicine, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy.


Iridium tissue distribution and excretion in female Wistar rats following oral exposure to iridium (III) chloride hydrate in drinking water (from 1 to 1000 ng/ml) in a sub-chronic oral study were determined. Samples of urine, feces, blood and organs (kidneys, liver, lung, spleen and brain) were collected at the end of exposure. The most prominent fractions of iridium were retained in kidney and spleen; smaller amounts were found in lungs, liver and brain. Iridium brain levels were lower than those observed in other tissues but this finding can support the hypothesis of iridium capability to cross the blood brain barrier. The iridium kidney levels rose significantly with the administered dose. At the highest dose, important amounts of the metal were found in serum, urine and feces. Iridium was predominantly excreted via feces with a significant linear correlation with the ingested dose, which is likely due to low intestinal absorption of the metal. However, at the higher doses iridium was also eliminated through urine. These findings may be useful to help in the understanding of the adverse health effects, particularly on the immune system, of iridium dispersed in the environment as well as in identifying appropriate biological indices of iridium exposure.


Distribution; Excretion; Iridium; Rats; Sub-chronic exposure

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