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Juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss [Walbaum]) on 1% daily ration were exposed to 0 (control) or 2 μg of cadmium as Cd(NO3)2·4H2O per liter added to four different calcium (Ca) concentrations: 260 (background), 470 (low), 770 (medium), or 1200 (high) μM of Ca added as Cd(NO3)2·4H2O in synthetic soft water for 30 d. Mortality was highest (;80%) in the background 1 Cd treatment. Approximately 40% mortality was observed in the low 1 Cd exposure; mortality was 10% or less for all other treatments. No growth effects were seen for any of the exposures. Kidneys accumulated the greatest concentration of Cd during the 30 d, followed by gills and livers. Accumulation of Cd in gills, kidney, and liver decreased at higher water Ca concentrations. No differences in whole-body or plasma Ca concentrations were found. Swimming performance was impaired in the low + Cd-exposed fish. Influx of Ca2+ into whole bodies decreased as water Ca concentrations increased; influx of Ca2+ into background + Cd–treated fish was significantly reduced compared to that in control fish. Experiments that measured uptake of new Cd into gills showed that the affinity of gills for Cd (KCd-gill) and the number of binding sites for Cd decreased as water Ca concentrations increased. Acute accumulation of new Cd into gills and number of gill Cd-binding sites increased with chronic Cd exposure, whereas the affinity of gills for Cd decreased with chronic Cd exposure. Longer-term gill binding (72 h) showed reduced uptake of new Cd at higher water Ca levels and increased uptake with chronic Cd exposure. Complications were found in applying the biotic ligand model to fish that were chronically exposed to Cd because of discrepancies in the maximum number of gill Cd-binding sites among different studies.


This article was originally published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 19(11): 2725-2734. © 2000 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry