1. The excretion of 75Se and stable Se in bile and urine was measured in four steers during 6 h after intravenous injections of 75Se as either selenite or selenate containing either 5 or 5000 μg carrier Se.
2. When 5000 μg Se were given, the rate of urinary excretion and plasma clearance of 75Se was similar for both salts. Approximately 23% was excreted in urine and plasma clearance was triexponential, the mean half-life (t½) of the successive components, α, β and γ, being 2·3, 15·2 and 465 min respectively. The amount of 75Se excreted in bile was small; 1·94% of the 75SeO32− and 0·86% of the 75SeO42− dose.
3. When 5 μg Se were given the plasma clearance of 75Se was initially biexponential but the entry of 75Se-labelled protein from the liver caused an increase in plasma radioactivity after 30–40 min. The effect was most marked after 5 μg 75SeO32− when plasma 75Se radioactivity returned to 60% of the activity present at 2 min. Values for t½ of the two components of clearance for 75SeO32− and 75SeO42− were respectively α 2·6 and 2·5 min, and β 15·9 and 36·6 min. Similar amounts of 75Se appeared in bile (0·2% of the dose) after injections of either salt but much less 75Se was excreted in urine after 75SeO32− (6%) than after 75SeO42− (37%).
4. At low dosage rates (5 μg) Se is more readily incorporated into tissues from SeO32− than from SeO42−.