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J Exp Biol. 2003 Jan;206(Pt 1):11-23.

Nutritive metal uptake in teleost fish.

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King's College London, School of Health and Life Sciences, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NN, UK.


Transition metals are essential for health, forming integral components of proteins involved in all aspects of biological function. However, in excess these metals are potentially toxic, and to maintain metal homeostasis organisms must tightly coordinate metal acquisition and excretion. The diet is the main source for essential metals, but in aquatic organisms an alternative uptake route is available from the water. This review will assess physiological, pharmacological and recent molecular evidence to outline possible uptake pathways in the gills and intestine of teleost fish involved in the acquisition of three of the most abundant transition metals necessary for life; iron, copper, and zinc.

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