Experiments were performed to determine whether gill transepithelial calcium fluxes in the freshwater trout (Salmo gairdneri) are passive or require active transport and to characterize the mechanisms involved. A comparison of the in vivo unidirectional flux ratios with the flux ratios calculated according to the transepithelial electrochemical gradients revealed that calcium uptake from the water requires active transport of Ca2+. The inhibition of calcium uptake by external lanthanum, the specific deposition of lanthanum on the apical surface of chloride cells, and the favorable electrochemical gradient for calcium across the apical membrane suggest that the initial step in branchial calcium uptake is the passive entry of calcium into the cytosol of chloride cells through apical channels that are permeable to calcium. The study of gill basolateral plasma membrane vesicles demonstrated the existence of a high-affinity calmodulin-dependent calcium-transporting system [half-maximal Ca2+ concentration (K0.5) = 160 nM, Vmax = 1.86 nmol.min-1.mg protein-1]. This system actively transports calcium from the cytosol of chloride cells into the plasma against a sizeable electrochemical gradient, thereby completing the transepithelial uptake of calcium. Calcium efflux occurs passively through paracellular pathways between chloride cells and adjacent pavement cells or between neighboring pavement cells.
- Copyright © 1988 the American Physiological Society