Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling of inhaled radon to calculate absorbed doses in mice, rats, and humans

Akihiro Sakoda, Yuu Ishimori, Atsushi Kawabe, Takahiro Kataoka, Katsumi Hanamoto, Kiyonori Yamaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This is the first report to provide radiation doses, arising from inhalation of radon itself, in mice and rats. To quantify absorbed doses to organs and tissues in mice, rats, and humans, we computed the behavior of inhaled radon in their bodies on the basis of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. It was assumed that radon dissolved in blood entering the gas exchange compartment is transported to any tissue by the blood circulation to be instantaneously distributed according to a tissue/blood partition coefficient. The calculated concentrations of radon in the adipose tissue and red bone marrow following its inhalation were much higher than those in the others, because of the higher partition coefficients. Compared with a previous experimental data for rats and model calculation for humans, the present calculation was proved to be valid. Absorbed dose rates to organs and tissues were estimated to be within the range of 0.04-1.4 nGy (Bqm -3)-1 day-1 for all the species. Although the dose rates are not so high, it may be better to pay attention to the dose to the red bone marrow from the perspective of radiation protection. For more accurate dose assessment, it is necessary to update tissue/blood partition coefficients of radon that strongly govern the result of the PBPK modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-738
Number of pages8
Journaljournal of nuclear science and technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Absorbed dose
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model
  • Radon inhalation
  • Rats
  • Tissue/blood partition coefficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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