Accession Number : ADA460097


Title :   Toxicological Evaluation of Depleted Uranium in Rats: Six-Month Evaluation Point


Corporate Author : ARMED FORCES RADIOBIOLOGY RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD


Personal Author(s) : Pellmar, T. C. ; Hogan, J. B. ; Benson, K. A. ; Landauer, M. R.


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA460097


Report Date : 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 associated 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 intramuscularly 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 indicate 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 :   *TOXICITY, *PELLETS, *DEPLETED URANIUM, TEST AND EVALUATION, MILITARY OPERATIONS, METALS, TISSUES(BIOLOGY), NERVOUS SYSTEM, WOUNDS AND INJURIES, NEUROTOXINS, AMMUNITION FRAGMENTS, KIDNEYS, HIPPOCAMPUS, TOXICOLOGY, HISTOLOGY, URINE, BODY WEIGHT, BEHAVIOR, HUMAN BODY, NERVE CELLS, CASUALTIES, HAZARDS, RATS, BATTLEFIELDS


Subject Categories : MEDICINE AND MEDICAL RESEARCH
      TOXICOLOGY
      WEAPONS EFFECTS(BIOLOGICAL)
      RADIOACTIVITY, RADIOACTIVE WASTES & FISSION PROD


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE