Accession Number : ADA410643
Title : Toxicological Evaluation of Depleted Uranium in Rats: Six-Month Evaluation Point
Descriptive Note : Special rept.
Corporate Author : ARMED FORCES RADIOBIOLOGY RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
Personal Author(s) : Fellmar, T C ; Hogan, J B ; Benson, K A ; Landauer, M R
Report Date : 01 Feb 1998
Pagination or Media Count : 30
Abstract : The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions during Desert Storm resulted in a unique type of battlefield casualty DU shrapnel wounds. The toxicity associ- ated with embedded DU may differ significantly from other metals or other routes of uranium administration. This is a 6-month interim report of an 18- month study that is designed to assess the toxicity of implanted DU pellets. This study evaluates kidney behavioral and neural toxicity associated with intra- muscularly implanted DU pellets (1 -mm x 2-mm) and assesses tissues for histological changes and for uranium content. Rats were assigned to five experimental groups: 1) a non-implanted sham-surgical control group 2) rats implanted with 20 tantalum (Ta) to control for fragment implantation 3) rats implanted with low-dose DU (4 DU and 16 Ta pellets) 4) rats implanted with medium-dose DU (10 DU and 10 Ta pellets) and 5) rats implanted with high-dose DU (20 DU pellets). Uranium levels were high and dose-dependent in the kidney, urine and bone. Despite high uranium levels in the kidney no renal toxicity was evident. Between 23-26 weeks body weight in high-DU dose animals was significantly lower than controls. Unexpectedly uranium was found in the brain of DU-implanted animals. No behavioral neurotoxicity was evident. Excitability of hippocampal neurons was reduced in the high DU dose animals at 6 months. These data suggest that at the 6-month time point renal toxicity may be less of a hazard than anticipated. While these results indi- cate that toxicity is not evident at 6 months with exposure to embedded DU, there is a need to further investigate long-term effects in light of the high levels accumulated in some body tissues.
Descriptors : *URANIUM COMPOUNDS , *AMMUNITION FRAGMENTS , *TOXICOLOGY , KUWAIT , TISSUES(BIOLOGY) , HAZARDS , RATS , BATTLEFIELDS , TOXICITY , LONG RANGE(TIME) , CONCENTRATION(COMPOSITION) , CASUALTIES , NERVOUS SYSTEM , NERVE CELLS , HUMAN BODY , WOUNDS AND INJURIES , BEHAVIOR , DEPLETED URANIUM , BODY WEIGHT , URINE , HISTOLOGY , HIPPOCAMPUS , KIDNEYS , NEUROTOXINS , IRAQ , METALS , TEST AND EVALUATION , MILITARY OPERATIONS
Subject Categories : Toxicology
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE