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Distribution of55Fe in juvenile adult lampreys,Petromyzon marinus L., following oral intubation of the isotope

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Summary

The capacity of a sanguivorous lamprey,Petromyzon marinus L., to deal with ingested iron was studied over time using autoradiography and scintillation counting of solubilized tissue samples after intubation of the oesophagus with a single dose of55ferrous citrate. A highly efficient mechanism for absorption in the anterior intestine was recognized with 17% of the intubated radioactivity absorbed into the body after only 5 min, 66% by 3 h, and almost 80% by 21 h. Iron concentration in the epithelial cells of the anterior intestine may be a factor in restricting iron absorption during spontaneous feeding. A decline in total body radioactivity over the 15 days following iron intubation probably results from transport of the metal in the blood and release of radioiron from the mucous cells of the posterior intestine. The kidneys appear to play a smaller but still significant role in iron loss. Gradual increases in radioiron concentration (cpm g−1 wet weight) and percent of total body radioactivity occur in the liver (2 to 26%), carcass (14 to 37%), and integument (4 to 12%) during the course of the experiment, indicating that these are the chief sites of iron storage during times of metal excess. However, eventually integument may also be a site of iron excretion. Significant fluctuations in radioiron concentration (cpm ml−1) in whole blood during the 15 day period can be correlated with transport of the metal to sites of storage and excretion, and maybe with incorporation into haemoglobin and with erythropoietic activity. Feeding adult lampreys represent a valuable system, with both general and unique characters, for studying iron metabolism in vertebrates.

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Correspondence to J. H. Youson.

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Youson, J.H., Sargent, P.A., Barrett, A. et al. Distribution of55Fe in juvenile adult lampreys,Petromyzon marinus L., following oral intubation of the isotope. J Comp Physiol B 157, 731–745 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00691003

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Keywords

  • Iron
  • Iron Metabolism
  • Iron Storage
  • Mucous Cell
  • Significant Fluctuation