In vitro characterization of cadmium and zinc uptake via the gastro-intestinal tract of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Interactive effects and the influence of calcium

Adeola A. Ojo, Chris M. Wood

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An in vitro gut sac technique was employed to study whether Cd and Zn uptake mechanisms in the gastro-intestinal tract of the rainbow trout are similar to those at the gills, where both metals are taken up via the Ca transport pathway. Metal accumulation in surface mucus, in the mucosal epithelium, and transport into the blood space were assayed using radiolabelled Cd or Zn concentrations of 50 μmol L-1 in the luminal (internal) saline. Elevated luminal Ca (10 or 100 mmol L-1 versus 1 mmol L-1) reduced Cd uptake into all three phases by approximately 60% in the stomach, but had no effect in the anterior, mid, or posterior intestine. This finding is in accordance with recent in vivo evidence that Ca is taken up mainly via the stomach, and that high [Ca] diets inhibit Cd accumulation from the food specifically in this section of the tract. In contrast, 10 mmol L-1 luminal Ca had no effect on Zn transport in any section, whereas 100 mmol L-1 Ca stimulated Zn uptake, by approximately threefold, into all three phases in the stomach only. There was no influence of elevated luminal Zn (10 mmol L-1) on Cd uptake in the stomach or anterior intestine, or of high Cd (10 mmol L-1) on Zn uptake in these sections. However, high [Zn] stimulated Cd transport into the blood space but inhibited accumulation in the mucosal epithelium and/or mucus-binding in the mid and posterior intestine, whereas high [Cd] exerted a reciprocal effect in the mid-intestine only. We conclude that Cd uptake occurs via an important Ca-sensitive mechanism in the stomach which is different from that at the gills, while Cd transport mechanisms in the intestine are not directly Ca-sensitive. Zn uptake does not appear to involve Ca uptake pathways, in contrast to the gills. These results are discussed in the context of other possible Cd and Zn transport pathways, and the emerging role of the stomach as an organ of divalent metal uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 11 2008



  • Calcium channels
  • Dietary metals
  • Intestine
  • Mucosal epithelium
  • Mucus-binding
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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