Precautions in the use of 110MAG as a tracer of silver metabolism in ecotoxicology: Preferential bioconcentration of 109CD by trout gills after 110MAG exposure

Heinz J.M. Hansen, Martin Grosell, Ulf Jacobsen, Jesper C. Jørgensen, Christer Hogstrand, Chris Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


An often overlooked problem in the use of radiotracers is the possibility of isotopic contamination. Commercially available silver 110M-Ag was used to study silver uptake and depuration in rainbow trout and European eel. Quality control by means of comparative γ and β counting brought our attention to a contamination of the 110MAg stock with 109Cd, which could be seen only because the 109Cd was markedly bioconcentrated by trout gills. The contamination could not be detected in eel gills or in other tissues of both species. The difference between trout and eel gill structure and function is the probable explanation for the marked difference in 109Cd accumulation. This contamination was identified as 109Cd by γ spectroscopy and its origin by transmutation of natural silver as a result of neutron activation is described. Failure to recognize this contamination problem would have resulted in serious misinterpretation of the data set. Guidance for avoiding this problem is given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1008
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadium
  • European eel
  • Rainbow trout
  • Silver
  • Subcellular distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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