Cadmium and zinc interactions in fish: Effects of zinc on the uptake, organ distribution, and elimination of109Cd in the zebrafish,Brachydanio rerio

  • Anders Wicklund
  • Per Runn
  • Leif Norrgren


The fate of equal nondietarian “pulses” of109Cd was studied in the zebrafish,Brachydanio rerio, at two Cd water concentrations (<0,05 Μg/L and 1 Μg/L) during Zn (10 Μg/L) exposure periods of various duration. This approach was used to investigate Cd-Zn interactions at subacute toxicity levels. There was no effect of Zn on the109Cd uptake by the whole body and gills. An antagonistic effect of Zn, on the109Cd uptake, was revealed in the intestine. Zn tended to increase the109Cd elimination rate in the gills at the higher Cd level, while retarding the elimination from the gastro-intestinal tract. Zn also increased the amount of109Cd retained in the liver and, under certain conditions, in the kidney. A simple mathematical description of109Cd elimination and accumulation for the various organs is presented. Proposed mechanisms for metal-metal interactions are discussed in an attempt to explain the present results.


Zinc Cadmium Water Concentration Elimination Rate Exposure Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bradley RW, DuQuensay C, Sprague JB (1985) Acclimation of rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri Richardson, to zinc: kinetics and mechanisms of enhanced tolerance induction. J Fish Biol 27:367–379Google Scholar
  2. Day FA, Funk AE, Brady FO (1984)In vivo andex vivo displacement of zinc from metallothionein by cadmium and by mercury. Chem -Biol Interactions 50:159–174Google Scholar
  3. Duncan DA, Klaverkamp JF (1983) Tolerance and resistance to cadmium in white suckers (Catastomus commersoni) previously exposed to cadmium, mercury, zinc, or selenium. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 40:128–138Google Scholar
  4. Foulkes EC (1985) Interactions between metals in rat jejunum: Implications on the nature of cadmium uptake. Toxicology 37:117–125Google Scholar
  5. Hill CH, Matrone G (1970) Chemical parameters in the study ofin vivo andin vitro interactions of transition elements. Fed Proc 29:1474–1481Google Scholar
  6. Karin M (1985) Metallothioneins: Proteins in search of function. Cell 41:9–10Google Scholar
  7. Karlsson-Norrgren L, Runn P (1985) Cadmium dynamics in fish: pulse studies with109Cd in female zebrafish,Brachydanio rerio. J Fish Biol 27:571–581Google Scholar
  8. Karlsson-Norrgren L, Runn P, Haux C, Förlin L (1985) Cadmium-induced changes in gill morphology of zebrafish,Brachydanio rerio (Hamilton-Buchanan), and rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri Richardson. J Fish Biol 27:81–95Google Scholar
  9. Kito H, Ose Y, Sato T (1986) Cadmium-binding protein (metallothionein) in carp. Environ Health Perspect 65:117–124Google Scholar
  10. Klaverkamp JF, Macdonald WA, Duncan DA, Wageman R (1984) Metallothionein and acclimation to heavy metals in fish: A review. In: Cairns VW, Hodson PV, Nriagu JO (eds) Contaminant effects on fisheries. Wiley, New York, pp 99–113Google Scholar
  11. Leber AP, Miya TS (1976) A mechanism for cadmium- and zinc-induced tolerance to cadmium toxicity: Involvement of metallothionein. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 37:403–414Google Scholar
  12. Magos L, Webb M (1978) Theoretical and practical considerations on the problem of metal-metal interactions. Environ Health Perspect 25:151–154Google Scholar
  13. Noel-Lambot F, Gerday CH, Disteche A (1978) Distribution of Cd, Zn, and Cu in liver and gills of eelAnguilla anguilla with special reference to metallothioneins. Comp Biochem Physiol 61C:177–187Google Scholar
  14. Olsson P-E, Haux C, Förlin L (1987) Variations in hepatic metallothionein, zinc, and copper levels during an annual reproductive cycle in rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri. Fish Physiol Biochem 3:39–47Google Scholar
  15. Petering DH, Fowler BA (1986) Discussion summary. Roles of metallothionein and related proteins in metal metabolism and toxicity: problems and perspectives. Environ Health Perspect 65:217–224Google Scholar
  16. Ramamoorthy S, Blumhagen K (1984) Uptake of Zn, Cd, and Hg by fish in presence of competing compartments. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 41:750–756Google Scholar
  17. Spehar RL, Leonard EN, DeFoe DL (1978) Chronic effects of cadmium and zinc mixtures on flagfish (Jordanella floridae). Trans Am Fish Soc 107:354–360Google Scholar
  18. Wynne JD (1982) Learning Statistics. McMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Wicklund
    • 1
  • Per Runn
    • 1
  • Leif Norrgren
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations