1. [75Se]selenomethionine was administered to four rabbits and after 4 d their kidneys were removed and homogenized. The long-term fate in rats of an oral dose of this kidney homogenate (RK-75Se) was compared with that of an oral dose of [75Se]selenomethionine mixed with unlabelled rabbit kidney homogenate.
2. Urinary and faecal radioactivities were measured during the 1st week and whole-body radioactivity was determined for 10 weeks. Rats were killed at weekly intervals for 4 weeks for analysis of tissue distribution of 75Se.
3. Intestinal absorption of RK-75Se was 87%; that of [75Se]selenomethionine was 91%. Urinary excretion of absorbed RK-75Se was 13·3% and that of [75Se]selenomethionine was 7·6%, in the 1st week.
4. Whole-body retention of 75Se was greater for [75Se]selenomethione than for RK-75Se but after the 1st week decreased at a similar rate in both groups. Tissue distribution of retained 75Se was also similar in both groups.
5. The initial utilization of 75Se in rabbit kidney is different from that of [75Se]selenomethionine. However, after the 1st week 75Se from these sources appears to be metabolized similarly, suggesting that Se from both is ultimately incorporated into the same metabolic pool.