The tissue concentrations and distribution of radioactivity present in retinol and its metabolites were investigated in vitamin A-deficient rats 24h after injection of physiological doses (10μg) of [6, 7-14C2, 11,12-3H2] retinol. The highest concentration of radioactivity was observed in the adrenals, followed by kidney, spleen, liver, intestine and blood. The total radioactivity was greatest in urine, followed in descending order by liver, kidney, blood and intestine. The 14C/3H ratios of crude light-petroleum extracts in the liver, intestines, lungs, heart and faeces were similar to the ratio of the injected retinol dispersion. However, the 14C/3H ratios in the adrenals, kidney, spleen, blood, brain and urine were quite different from that of injected retinol. Alumina chromatography of the kidney and intestinal extracts demonstrated that retinol and retinyl palmitate are the principal forms of vitamin A present. However, alumina chromatography of the liver extract did not reveal the presence of retinol but yielded a major compound with a low 14C/3H ratio. That this compound was not retinol was shown by its inability to react with ethanolic HC1 to yield anhydroretinol. The distribution of radioactivity in ether-soluble, acidic and water-soluble fractions of urine indicated that most of the radioactivity was present in the acidic and water-soluble fractions. The 14C/3H ratios in ether-soluble and acidic fractions were higher than that of injected retinol, whereas in the water-soluble fraction the ratio was similar to the injected material.

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