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Environ Sci Technol. 2011 May 15;45(10):4339-45. doi: 10.1021/es104034g. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Effect of complexation on the accumulation and elimination kinetics of cadmium and ciprofloxacin in the earthworm Eisenia fetida.

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State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.


Land application of solid wastes leads to the accumulation of both metals and antimicrobials in soils. To understand the effects of metal and antibiotic interaction on their accumulation by the earthworm Eisenia fetida, uptake and elimination kinetics and subcellular distribution of cadmium (Cd) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) were determined. The kinetics was accurately described by a one-compartment first-order kinetic model. Bioaccumulation kinetics and subcellular distribution of CIP were not affected by Cd addition. However, Cd exhibited different metabolic and subcellular distribution patterns. With CIP, Cd uptake flux and elimination rate constants were about 2.2 and 9.8 times, respectively, those without CIP. In the presence of CIP, Cd redistributed from fractions D (associated with granules) and E (associated with tissue fragments and cell membranes) to fraction C (associated with cytosol). Without CIP, Cd in fraction C could not be excreted, whereas with CIP, Cd in fraction C was significantly excreted, and the excretion rate constant was consistent with that of CIP. A good relationship was found between CIP and Cd in earthworms during uptake and elimination periods (p < 0.01). Our results indicated that the Cd-CIP complex may be taken up, stored, and eliminated by earthworms.

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