Department Environmental Toxicology

Fish intestine as organism-environment barrier

The intestinal epithelium is a vital environmental-organism barrier which regulates the uptake from nutrients and at the same time provides protection from environmental toxicants and pathogens. In our group, we established and characterized an in vitro fish intestinal model based on the intestinal epithelial cell line, RTgutGC, from rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss).  The fish intestinal barrier model is used to systematically study the impact of environmental stressors such as nanoparticles, chemicals and immune stimulants.


Schug, H.; Maner, J.; Begnaud, F.; Berthaud, F.; Gimeno, S.; Schirmer, K.; Županič, A. (2019) Intestinal fish cell barrier model to assess transfer of organic chemicals in vitro: an experimental and computational study, Environmental Science and Technology, 53(20), 12062-12070, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b04281, Institutional Repository
Schug, H.; Yue, Y.; Krese, R.; Fischer, S.; Kortner, T. M.; Schirmer, K. (2019) Time- and concentration-dependent expression of immune and barrier genes in the RTgutGC fish intestinal model following immune stimulation, Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 88, 308-317, doi:10.1016/j.fsi.2019.02.036, Institutional Repository
Wang, J.; Lei, P.; Gamil, A. A. A.; Lagos, L.; Yue, Y.; Schirmer, K.; Mydland, L. T.; Øverland, M.; Krogdahl, Å.; Kortner, T. M. (2019) Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) intestinal epithelial cells as a model for studying gut immune function and effects of functional feed ingredients, Frontiers in Immunology, 10, 152 (17 pp.), doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00152, Institutional Repository
Schug, H.; Begnaud, F.; Debonneville, C.; Berthaud, F.; Gimeno, S.; Schirmer, K. (2018) TransFEr: a new device to measure the transfer of volatile and hydrophobic organic chemicals across an in vitro intestinal fish cell barrier, Analytical Methods, 10(36), 4394-4403, doi:10.1039/C8AY01253A, Institutional Repository
Minghetti, M.; Drieschner, C.; Bramaz, N.; Schug, H.; Schirmer, K. (2017) A fish intestinal epithelial barrier model established from the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) cell line, RTgutGC, Cell Biology and Toxicology, 33(6), 539-555, doi:10.1007/s10565-017-9385-x, Institutional Repository
Drieschner, C.; Minghetti, M.; Wu, S.; Renaud, P.; Schirmer, K. (2017) Ultrathin alumina membranes as scaffold for epithelial cell culture from the intestine of rainbow trout, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 9(11), 9496-9505, doi:10.1021/acsami.7b00705, Institutional Repository
Geppert, M.; Sigg, L.; Schirmer, K. (2016) A novel two-compartment barrier model for investigating nanoparticle transport in fish intestinal epithelial cells, Environmental Science: Nano, 3(2), 388-395, doi:10.1039/c5en00226e, Institutional Repository


Prof. Dr. Kristin Schirmer Head of department Tel. +41 58 765 5266 Send Mail

Team members

Jenny Maner PhD Student Tel. +41 58 765 5576 Send Mail

In collaboration with

Former team members

Dr. Hannah Schug
Dr. Matteo Minghetti
Dr. Mark Geppert


Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)