1. Rat gut perfusion studies in vivo at pH 4, 6 or 8 using aluminium chloride or equimolar aluminium chloride and sodium citrate showed that elevated plasma aluminium concentrations were associated with aluminium solubility in the perfusion. Elevated plasma aluminium levels and soluble aluminium in the perfusate occurred with perfusion of equimolar aluminium chloride and sodium citrate at all three pH values.
2. Partitioning studies in vitro, utilizing water and ethyl acetate, revealed that uncomplexed aluminium exhibited maximum partitioning into the ethyl acetate phase at pH 2.5. When complexed with citrate, aluminium exhibited partitioning over a much broader pH range, pH 2.5–8.0.
3. A direct linear relationship was observed between the soluble aluminium concentration of the perfusate and the increase in the plasma aluminium level, suggesting that soluble aluminium is absorbed by a passive diffusion mechanism.