The passage of radioactive lanthanum from the biliary to the vascular system

An electron microscopic and radioactive tracer study
  • Peter F. Schatzki


Radioactive lanthanum nitrate, an electron opaque tracer, was injected into the common bile duct of rats. Two minutes following the end of injection, samples of blood for radioactivity counts, and of liver and kidney for electron microscopic studies were taken. High levels of radioactivity found in the blood, and demonstration of lanthanum in the kidney by electron microscopy, indicated that this tracer entered the blood stream in vivo. No lanthanum was seen in the cytoplasm of liver cells, and there was no evidence of rupture in bile ducts, junctional ducts, or liver cells. Tight junctions connecting parenchymal cells and cholangiolar cells appeared well preserved. Lanthanum was seen in bile canaliculi, interspaces between liver cells, portions of the extracellular space of the liver, lumina of cholangioles and lumina of portal venules and sinusoids. It is postulated that lanthanum passed from the biliary tract, the site of injection, through the tight junction between liver cells and cholangiolar cells. It is suggested that such passage may represent a physiologic pathway, but the possibility of a chemical action of lanthanum on the tight junction can not be ruled out.


Lanthanum Permeability Liver Bile Ducts Ultrastructure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter F. Schatzki
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Sciences Division of Virginia Commonwealth UniversityUSA
  2. 2.McGuire Veterans Administration HospitalRichmondUSA

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