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Environ Sci Technol. 2001 Feb 15;35(4):669-75.

A mechanistic model for the uptake of waterborne strontium in the common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.).

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Department of Biology, University of Antwerp (RUCA), Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium.


The release of radioactive strontium to the environment is of concern due to the strong accumulation of this calcium resembling element in the bone and other tissues. To predict the effects of changes in environmental conditions on the uptake of Sr2+ and Ca2+ by freshwater fish, a Michaelis-Menten type model is introduced that accounts for the effects of chemical speciation, hydrogen ion activity, and metal ion competition. The uptake kinetics were characterized in vivo from short-term exposure experiments using the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) as the model organism. Fish were exposed to a wide range of waterborne Sr2+ (0.2-10,000 microM) and Ca2+ (10-10,000 microM) concentrations and water pH (5.0-8.5). Strontium uptake by the whole body of fish increased with increasing Sr2+ activity, displaying saturation kinetics, but decreased significantly with increasing Ca2+ and H+ activities in the water. Likewise, calcium uptake by the fish decreased with increasing Sr2+ and H+ activities in the water. The model fitted to the pooled data explains 97.5% of the variation in Sr2+ uptake and 86% in Ca2+ uptake over the wide range of exposure conditions and reveals that Sr2+ and Ca2+ inhibit each other completely competitively, while H+ inhibits the uptake of both metal ions in a partially noncompetitive way. This model can be used as a mechanistic tool to predict the uptake of these metals in carp under variable conditions.

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