Speciation of arsenic and selenium in rabbit using x-ray absorption spectroscopy
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Chronic arsenic poisoning due to arsenic contamination of groundwater is a serious public health problem in Bangladesh and neighboring countries. Severe health effects associated with chronic exposure to arsenic include melanosis and several kinds of cancer. It is now generally agreed that the arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh is of geological origin. Arsenic naturally present in aquifers may be mobilized into drinking water by microbial action. The formation of a novel arsenic-selenium compound: seleno-bis (S-glutathionyl) arsinium ion, [(GS)2AsSe]-, and its subsequent excretion in rabbit bile has been demonstrated previously. This molecular basis for the in vivo antagonism between arsenic and selenium was discovered using X-ray absorption spectroscopy. There is growing evidence that, in Bangladeshi people who are suffering long term chronic lowlevel arsenic poisoning, this antagonism is causing a selenium deficiency. Administering selenium supplements might provide a simple but highly effective treatment of the Bangladeshi arsenic poisoning. In order to examine the disposition of [(GS)2AsSe]-, a set of rabbits were intravenously injected with selenite, arsenite or both. Whole blood, red blood cell and plasma samples were collected at different time intervals within 2hrs after injection and cecotrope samples 24hr after injection. Samples were examined using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and both arsenic and selenium K-near edge spectra were recorded. iii Speciation of arsenic and selenium will be discussed in this thesis. Results indicate that [(GS)2AsSe]- is formed in blood very rapidly after injection of both arsenite and selenite, and then is removed from blood stream within 2hrs post injection. Results also show that [(GS)2AsSe]- is assembled in red blood cells, with no [(GS)2AsSe]- detected in plasma samples. [(GS)2AsSe]- is also found in cecotrope samples after injection of both arsenite and selenite. The results of this study in rabbits will contribute to the understanding of chronic arsenic poisoning in humans.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAnatomy and Cell Biology
ProgramAnatomy and Cell Biology
Copyright DateJanuary 2011
X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy