Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 2007, 127(1-4), 86-89

Heterogeneous accumulation of uranium in the brain of rats

Pascale Houpert, Sandrine Frelon, Marjorie Monleau, Cyrill Bussy, Valérie Chazel and François Paquet

Recent reports suggest that uranium can accumulate not only in known target organs, that is, kidneys or bones, but also in others such as central nervous system. In the present work, the accumulation of uranium in the brain of rats was studied after repeated exposure by inhalation, chronic exposure by ingestion and acute exposure by injection. For each route of administration, the amount of uranium entering the brain was low. The results showed different accumulation in the brain areas according to the route of intake. Injection gave a rather homogeneous distribution in the different brain areas, whereas both inhalation and ingestion yielded heterogeneous but specific accumulation. These differences in distribution suggest the operation of different mechanisms of delivery of uranium to the brain tissues.