Identification of [(GS)2AsSe]- in rabbit bile by size-exclusion chromatography and simultaneous multielement-specific detection by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy

Jrgen Gailer, Sean Madden, Gavin A. Buttigieg, M. Bonner Denton, Husam S. Younis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


An arsenic-selenium metabolite that exhibited the same arsenic and selenium X-ray absorption nearedge spectra as the synthetic seleno-bis(S-glutathionyl) arsinium ion [(GS)2AsSe]- was recently detected in rabbit bile within 25 min after intravenous injection of rabbits with sodium selenite and sodium arsenite. X-ray absorption spectroscopy did not (and cannot) conclusively identify the sulfur-donor in the in vivo sample. After similar treatment of rabbits, we analyzed the collected bile samples by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) to monitor arsenic, selenium and sulfur simultaneously. The bulk of arsenic and selenium eluted in a single peak, the intensity of which was greatly increased upon spiking of the bile samples with synthethic [(GS)2AsSe]-. Hence, we identify [(GS)2AsSe]- as the major metabolite in bile after exposure of rabbits to selenite and arsenite. The reported SEC-ICP-AES method is the first chromatographic procedure to identify this biochemically important metabolite in biological fluids and is thus a true alternative to X-ray absorption spectroscopy, which is not available to many chemists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-75
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Bile
  • Seleno-bis(S-glutathionyl) arsinium ion
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Cite this