Branchial cadmium and copper binding and intestinal cadmium uptake in wild yellow perch (Perca flavescens) from clean and metal-contaminated lakes

J. S. Klinck, W. W. Green, R. S. Mirza, S. R. Nadella, M. J. Chowdhury, C. M. Wood, G. G. Pyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Branchial binding kinetics and gastro-intestinal uptake of copper and cadmium where examined in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) from a metal-contaminated lake (Hannah Lake, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada) and an uncontaminated lake (James Lake, North Bay, Ontario, Canada). An in vivo approach was taken for gill binding comparisons while an in vitro gut binding assay was employed for gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) uptake analysis. By investigating metal uptake at the gill and the gut we cover the two main routes of metal entry into fish. Comparisons of water and sediment chemistries, metal burdens in benthic invertebrate, and metal burdens in the livers of perch from the two study lakes clearly show that yellow perch from Hannah L. are chronically exposed to a highly metal-contaminated environment compared to a reference lake. We found that metal-contaminated yellow perch showed no significant difference in gill Cd binding compared to reference fish, but they did show significant decreases in new Cd binding and absorption in their GITs. The results show that gill Cd binding may involve low-capacity, high-affinity binding sites, while gastro-intestinal Cd uptake involves binding sites that are high-capacity, low-affinity. From this we infer that Cd may be more critically controlled at the gut rather than gills. Significant differences in branchial Cu binding (increased binding) were observed in metal-contaminated yellow perch. We suggest that chronic waterborne exposure to Cu (and/or other metals) may be the dominant influence in gill Cu binding rather than chronic exposure to high Cu diets. We give supporting evidence that Cd is taken up in the GIT, at least in part, by a similar pathway as Ca2+, principally that elevated dietary Ca2+ reduces Cd binding and uptake. Overall our study reveals that metal pre-exposure via water and diet can alter uptake kinetics of Cu and Cd at the gill and/or the gut.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Aug 30 2007


  • Cadmium
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Gastro-intestinal tract
  • Gill
  • Yellow perch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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