Use of Neutron Activation Analysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry for the Determination of Trace Elements in Pediatric and Young Adult Prostate


The questions about the androgen control and the involvement of trace elements in prostatic reproductive function still remain unanswered. One valuable way to elucidate the situation is to compare the values for the prostatic mass fractions of trace elements in pre-and post-pubertal boys. The effect of age on the mass fraction of 54 trace elements in intact prostate of 50 apparently healthy 0-30 years old males was investigated by neutron activation analysis and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Mean values (M ± SΕΜ) for mass fraction (milligram per kilogram, on dry-weight basis) of trace elements were: Ag 0.062 ± 0.008, Al 80 ± 18, Au 0.0092 ± 0.0024, B 5.9 ± 3.5, Be 0.0034 ± 0.0009, Bi 0.018 ± 0.010, Br 26 ± 3, Cd 0.26 ± 0.05, Ce 0.049 ± 0.012, Co 0.035 ± 0.004, Cr 0.49 ± 0.07, Cs 0.036 ± 0.005, Dy 0.0072 ± 0.0018, Er 0.0040 ± 0.0011, Fe 100 ± 10, Gd 0.0065 ± 0.0018, Hg 0.031 ± 0.004, Ho 0.0013 ± 0.0004, La 0.034 ± 0.007, Li 0.064 ± 0.009, Mn 1.69 ± 0.15, Mo 0.54 ± 0.13, Nb 0.013 ± 0.004, Nd 0.025 ± 0.006, Ni 4.1 ± 0.6, Pb 1.3 ± 0.2, Pr 0.0058 ± 0.0015, Rb 14.5 ± 0.8, Sb 0.051 ± 0.006, Sc 0.013 ± 0.002, Se 0.54 ± 0.03, Sm 0.0055 ± 0.0015, Sn 0.22 ± 0.05, Tb 0.0012 ± 0.0004, Th 0.0076 ± 0.0020, Ti 2.8 ± 0.5, Tl 0.0032 ± 0.0009, Tm 0.00064 ± 0.00017, U 0.0025 ± 0.0004, Y 0.036 ± 0.010, Yb 0.0037 ± 0.0012, Zn 281 ± 32, and Zr 0.16 ± 0.04. The upper limit of mean mass fraction of As, Eu, Ga, Hf, Ir, Lu, Pd, Pt, Re, and Ta were: As ≤ 0.069, Eu ≤ 0.0012, Ga ≤ 0.071, Hf ≤ 0.049, Ir ≤ 0.00054, Lu ≤ 0.00063, Pd ≤ 0.014, Pt ≤ 0.0029, Re ≤ 0.0048, and Ta ≤ 0.010. This work revealed that there is a significant tendency for the mass fractions of Cd, Se and Zn in the prostate tissue of healthy individuals to increase with age from the time of birth up to 30 years. It was also shown that high levels of Al, Au, B, Br, Cr, Ga, Li, and Ni mass fraction in prostate tissue do not indicate a direct involvement of these elements in the reproductive function of prostate.


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Zaichick, V. and Zaichick, S. (2013) Use of Neutron Activation Analysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry for the Determination of Trace Elements in Pediatric and Young Adult Prostate. American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 4, 696-706. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2013.412084.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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