Exposure of freshwater trout (Salmo gairdneri) to waterborne Cd2+ results in accumulation of the metal in the branchial epithelial cells and its appearance in the blood. Cd2+ apparently enters the cells via Ca2+ channels in the apical membrane. Transfer of Cd2+ through the basolateral membrane is probably by diffusion. Inhibition by Cd2+ of transepithelial Ca2+ influx is time- and Cd2+-concentration-dependent. The inhibition of transepithelial Ca2+ influx is accompanied by blockage of apical Ca2+ channels. In line with the assumption that cytosolic Cd2+ inhibits Ca2+ uptake by inhibiting the basolateral Ca2+ pump, we hypothesize that the blockage of Ca2+ channels is an indirect effect of Cd2+ and results from a rise in cytosolic Ca2+ level caused by inhibition of the basolateral membrane Ca2+ pump.

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