Adult, male New Zealand rabbits (three per group) were administered drinking water containing aluminum chloride (0, 100, or 500 mg Al/liter) together with citrate (0.11 m), ascorbate (0.11 m), or no added ligand ad libitum for 12 weeks. They were fed ad libitum regular rabbit chow analyzed to contain 297 mg Al/kg. Treatment had no effect upon food and water intake or weight gain during the experimental period. No effect of aluminum was observed on tissue levels of the essential metals zinc, copper, and iron, or on hemoglobin and hematocrit values. Aluminum levels were found to increase in a dose-dependent manner in stomach and intestinal mucosa, kidney, bone, urine, and feces. There was only a slight accumulation in liver, and no accumulation in brain (cerebral cortex or hippocampus). Although plasma aluminum was directly related to aluminum intake, whole blood aluminum bore no relation to aluminum dose. Citrate had no effect on aluminum accumulation in the stomach or intestine, but significantly enhanced plasma and bone aluminum levesl. Ascorbate did not enhance aluminum accumulation in any tissue studied and even prevented accumulation in bone. Both citrate and ascorbate enhanced excretion of aluminum. Ascorbate therapy may be of potential clinical use to enhance aluminum excretion.
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