Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 20(4), 617 (2004).

Isotopic Analysis of Fe in Human Red Blood Cells by Multiple Collector-ICP-Mass Spectrometry
Takeshi OHNO,* Atsuko SHINOHARA,** Ichitaro KOHGE,* Momoko CHIBA,** and Takafumi HIRATA*
*Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ohokayama, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan
**Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Juntendo University, 2-1-1, Hongo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan
Precise 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe isotopic ratios on human red blood cell (RBC) samples have been measured using multiple collector-ICP-mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The mass spectrometric interferences on Fe isotopes (e.g., 56ArO+ and 57ArOH+) were successfully minimized by a dry plasma condition achieved by a desolvating nebulizer sampleintroduction technique. In order to eliminate possible variations in the measured isotopic ratios due to non-mass spectrometric interferences, Fe was separated from remaining organic compounds and major co-existing elements using an ion chromatographic technique. The resulting precisions of the 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe ratio measurements were 0.12‰ and 0.20‰, respectively, which were high enough to detect the isotopic variation of Fe in nature. For an interlaboratory comparison, all of the Fe isotopic ratio data were normalized by the ratios for the IRMM-014 international isotopic standard. A series of 12 RBC samples were collected from one person through monthly-based sampling over a period of one year. These were analyzed to test possible seasonal changes in the 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe ratios. Moreover, in order to test possible variations in the 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe ratios among different people, RBC samples were collected from five volunteers (four males and one female). The 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe ratios for a series of 12 RBC samples collected over a one-year period show 3.06‰ and 4.51‰ lower than the values of IRMM-014, and no significant seasonal change could be found in the ratios. The lack in seasonal changes in the Fe isotopic ratios could be explained by a small contribution of the daily net-intake of Fe (1 - 2 mg/day) onto the total amount of Fe in the human body (2 - 4 g). The 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe ratios for RBC samples collected from four male samples did not vary measurably, whereas the Fe isotopic ratios for a female RBC were 0.3‰/amu heavier than the mean value of four male samples. This difference in Fe isotopes among the individuals can be the result of a difference in uptake efficiency of the Fe through a dietary process from the digestive tract. The data obtained here demonstrate that the isotopic ratios of trace metals can provide new information about metabolic efficiencies of the metallic elements.