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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 May 27;1663(1-2):214-21.

Intestinal zinc uptake in freshwater rainbow trout: evidence for apical pathways associated with potassium efflux and modified by calcium.

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


Understanding the mechanisms of intestinal zinc uptake in fish is of considerable interest from both nutritional and toxicological perspectives. In this study, properties of zinc transport across the apical membrane of freshwater rainbow trout intestinal epithelia were examined using right-side-out brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV's). Extravesicular calcium was found to have complex actions on zinc uptake. At a low zinc concentration of 1 microM, calcium (0.1-2 mM) significantly stimulated zinc uptake. In contrast, calcium inhibited zinc uptake at higher zinc levels (100 microM). Lanthanum and cadmium in the external medium did not block zinc uptake, suggesting that interactions between zinc and calcium were not exerted at a calcium channel. Copper also failed to exercise any inhibitory action. Zinc association with the BBMV's was enhanced by an outward potassium gradient. This stimulatory effect was only present at a zinc concentration of 100 microM. The potassium channel blocker, tetraethylammonium chloride inhibited zinc uptake at this relatively high zinc concentration, suggesting the presence of a low affinity zinc uptake pathway linked to potassium efflux. The present study provides evidence that the mechanism of intestinal zinc uptake in rainbow trout is pharmacologically very different from that of the piscine gill and the mammalian intestine.

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