Gut reactions of radioactive nitrite after intratracheal administration in mice

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Science  09 Jul 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4555, pp. 151-153
DOI: 10.1126/science.6211766


Intratracheal administration to mice of radioactive nitrite labeled with nitrogen-13 (13NO2-) (half-life, 9.96 minutes) in dosages that do not cause pharmacological perturbation reveals that oxidative and reductive reactions occur in different organs. Oxidation of 13NO2- to radioactive nitrate (13NO3-) predominates in the blood and liver. Reduction of 13NO2- occurs in those mice that harbor intestinal microflora; this reduction does not occur in germ-free mice. The intestinal reduction products include ammonium, glutamate, glutamine, and urea. With a detection limit of about 0.01 percent of the instilled nitrogen-13, no labeled nitrosamines were detected within 30 minutes. Reduced nitrogen-13 is transported out of the intensive into the circulatory system and appears in the urine along with 13NO3-. The biological half-period for 13NO2- destruction is about 7 minutes, and both oxidation and reduction products are formed.