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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Cadmium Transport in a Model of Neonatal Intestinal Cells Correlates to MRP1 and Not DMT1 or FPN1

Öhrvik, Helena; Tyden, Eva; Artursson, Per; Oskarsson, Agneta; Tallkvist, Jonas


Newborns have a higher gastrointestinal uptake of cadmium than adults. In adults, the iron transporters DMT1 and FPN1 are involved in the intestinal absorption of cadmium, while in neonates, the mechanisms for cadmium absorption are unknown. We have investigated possible cadmium transporters in the neonatal intestine by applying a model of immature human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. To mimic the continuous cadmium exposure via diet in neonates, cells were allowed to differentiate for 7 days in medium containing 1 μM CdCl2. A dramatic upregulation of the MT1 gene expression followed cadmium pretreatment, indicating a high sensitivity of the immature cells to cadmium. Cadmium pretreatment increased the basolateral efflux of109Cd, without causing any effects on the passive diffusion of mannitol or the transepithelial electrical resistance. The augmented transport of cadmium was correlated to an upregulation of MRP1 gene expression and increased activity of the efflux protein MRP1. No effects were observed on gene expression of the efflux proteins MRP2 and P-gp or the iron transporters DMT1, DMT1-IRE and FPN1. In conclusion, our data indicate that continuous cadmium exposure increases the absorption of the metal in immature intestinal cells and that MRP1 is involved in the intestinal cadmium absorption in newborns.

Published in

ISRN Toxicology
2013, Volume: 2013, article number: 892364