Exogenous 35S-labeled heparin: Organ distribution and metabolism

  • Th. Stau
  • J. Metz
  • R. Taugner


The pharmacokinetics of i.v. injected 35S-heparin were investigated in rats. It was found that besides a rapid urinary excretion, intact 35S-heparin was rapidly taken up by the reticulo-endothelial system, e.g. the v. Kupffer cells of the liver and the sinus endothelial cells of the spleen. In addition an uptake, probably due to reabsorption of 35S-heparin, was observed in the proximal tubules of the kidney. In connective tissues such as fasciae, periosteum and cartilage, 35S-activity increased a few hours after application.

Specific precipitation reactions were employed for studying the properties of the radioactive material, especially the mucopolysaccharides. The total 35S-radioactivity in spleen, liver, kidney and plasma as well as the percentage of intact 35S-heparin decreased with time. Contrarily, both the 35S-labeled dialysable material and the partially desulfated fractions increased.

It is concluded that 35S-heparin is taken up mainly by the reticulo-endothelial system. Following metabolic degradation, 35S-activity appears in the sulfate pool leading to labelling of endogenous mucopolysaccharides in connective tissue and mast cells.

Key words

Heparin Metabolism RES Mast Cells Autoradiography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Th. Stau
    • 1
  • J. Metz
    • 1
  • R. Taugner
    • 1
  1. 1.I. Physiologisches Institut der Universität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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