Physiological effects of dietary cadmium acclimation and waterborne cadmium challenge in rainbow trout: Respiratory, ionoregulatory, and stress parameters

M. J. Chowdhury, E. F. Pane, C. M. Wood

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70 Scopus citations


A suite of respiratory, acid-base, ionoregulatory, hematological, and stress parameters were examined in adult rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) after chronic exposure to a sublethal level of dietary Cd (500 mg/kg diet) for 45 days and during a subsequent challenge to waterborne Cd (10 μg/L) for 72 h. Blood sampling via an indwelling arterial catheter revealed that dietary Cd had no major effects on blood gases, acid-base balance, and plasma ions (Ca 2+, Mg 2+, K +, Na +, and Cl -) in trout. The most notable effects were an increase in hematocrit (49%) and hemoglobin (74%), and a decrease in the plasma total ammonia (43%) and glucose (49%) of the dietary Cd-exposed fish relative to the nonexposed controls. Dietary Cd resulted in a 26-fold increase of plasma Cd level over 45 days (∼24 ng/mL). The fish exposed to dietary Cd showed acclimation with increased protection against the effects of waterborne Cd on arterial blood P aCO2 and pH, plasma ions, and stress indices. After waterborne Cd challenge, nonacclimated fish, but not Cd-acclimated fish, exhibited respiratory acidosis. Plasma Ca 2+ levels declined from the prechallenge level, but the effect was more pronounced in nonacclimated fish (44%) than in Cd-acclimated fish (14%) by 72 h. Plasma K + was elevated only in the nonacclimated fish. Similarly, waterborne Cd caused an elevation of all four traditional stress parameters (plasma total ammonia, cortisol, glucose, and lactate) only in the nonacclimated fish. Thus, chronic exposure to dietary Cd protects rainbow trout against physiological stress caused by waterborne Cd and both dietary and waterborne Cd should be considered in determining the extent of Cd toxicity to fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004



  • Acclimation
  • Acid-base
  • Cadmium
  • Chronic
  • Diet
  • Hematology
  • Plasma ions
  • Respiration
  • Stress
  • Trout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology

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