A 3,2-Hydroxypyridinone-based Decorporation Agent that Removes Uranium from Bones In Vivo

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2019-06-25

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10276-z

Affiliations: 5

Authors: 17

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Research Highlight

Flushing uranium out of the body

© Erlon Silva - TRI Digital/Getty

© Erlon Silva - TRI Digital/Getty

A chemical has been found that can extract the toxic element uranium from the bones and kidneys of mice.

Uranium is well known for its use as a fuel for nuclear power. Its radioactivity and toxicity make it a dangerous environmental pollutant. While the body quickly expels about two-thirds of uranium that enters it, residual uranium can build up in the kidneys and bones, where it can cause long-term problems.

Now, a team led by scientists at Soochow University in China has synthesized a chelating agent that has a strong affinity for uranium-containing ions.

The researchers first performed calculations to determine the optimal structure of the molecule. In tests on mice that had received a dose of uranium, the chelating agent removed uranium from their kidneys and bones with high efficiencies.

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  1. Nature Communications 10, 2570 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10276-z
Institutions Share
Soochow University, China 0.80
CAS Key Laboratory of Nuclear Radiation and Nuclear Energy Technology, China 0.08
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Shanghai, China 0.08
Columbia University in the City of New York (CU), United States of America (USA) 0.02
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, United States of America (USA) 0.02