The multitracer technique was first applied to the investigation of the uptake and excretion behaviour of trace elements in rats. A multitracer solution, prepared by irradiation of a gold target with a 14N-beam from the RIKEN Ring Cyclotron, was orally administered to male Wistar rats. The uptake and excretion rates of 23 elements, Be, Mn, Co, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Ce, Pm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Hf, W, Re, Ir and Pt, were simultaneously determined under strictly identical experimental conditions. For some of the elements, the results obtained were consistent with previous reports on uptake and excretion of the elements in animals. For the other elements, unique behaviour was revealed for the first time as described in the present work. These results show that the multitracer technique has excellent reliability and versatility for a comparative study of the uptake and excretion of many different elements in animals.
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