Human vitamin B12 absorption measurement by accelerator mass spectrometry using specifically labeled (14)C-cobalamin.

Bruce D. Hammock, Colleen Carkeet, Stephen R. Dueker, Jozsef Lango, Bruce A. Buchholz, Joshua W. Miller, Ralph Green, Peter J. Anderson, John R. Roth

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56 Citations (Scopus)


AbstractThere is a need for an improved test of human ability to assimilate dietary vitamin B(12). Assaying and understanding absorption and uptake of B(12) is important because defects can lead to hematological and neurological complications. Accelerator mass spectrometry is uniquely suited for assessing absorption and kinetics of carbon-14 ((14)C)-labeled substances after oral ingestion because it is more sensitive than decay counting and can measure levels of (14)C in microliter volumes of biological samples with negligible exposure of subjects to radioactivity. The test we describe employs amounts of B(12) in the range of normal dietary intake. The B(12) used was quantitatively labeled with (14)C at one particular atom of the dimethylbenzimidazole (DMB) moiety by exploiting idiosyncrasies of Salmonella metabolism. To grow aerobically on ethanolamine, Salmonella enterica must be provided with either preformed B(12) or two of its precursors, cobinamide and DMB. When provided with (14)C-DMB specifically labeled in the C2 position, cells produced (14)C-B(12) of high specific activity (2.1 GBq/mmol, 58 mCi/mmol) (1 Ci = 37 GBq) and no detectable dilution of label from endogenous DMB synthesis. In a human kinetic study, a physiological dose (1.5 microg, 2.2 kBq/59 nCi) of purified (14)C-B(12) was administered and showed plasma appearance and clearance curves consistent with the predicted behavior of the pure vitamin. This method opens new avenues for study of B(12) assimilation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5694-5699
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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