Calcium-Dependent Chloride Currents in Vertebrate Central Neurons

  • Mark L. Mayer
  • David G. Owen
  • Jeffrey L. Barker


Anion-selective ion channels activated by inhibitory neurotransmitters such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine occur in the soma-dendritic membrane of a majority of CNS neurons (see Chapters 7–9). Until recently, these were the only well-characterized anion-selective channels in vertebrate neurons and there was no evidence for any additional types of anion channel, although the existence of a leakage conductance permeable to Cl was considered to be probable. Some new work, on a variety of preparations ranging from amphibian egg cells to mammalian CNS neurons in tissue culture, has changed this picture with the discovery of a conductance mechanism that is selectively permeable to anions and activated by a rise in Ca i 2+ activity. The study of this conductance mechanism is in its infancy and, although some sophisticated biophysical techniques have been applied to the problem, the small conductances of these ion channels, our lack of selective pharmacological probes, and the added complexity of studying processes linked to changes in Ca i 2+ activity, have prevented any real understanding of the physiological functions of Ca2+-dependent Cl channels in nerve cells. Similar studies in exocrine cells that secrete electrolyte solutions suggest that Ca2+-activated Cl fluxes may participate in the production of tears in the lacrimal gland (Marty et al., 1984).


Dorsal Root Ganglion Conductance Mechanism Xenopus Oocyte Reversal Potential Lacrimal Gland 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bader, C. R., Bertrand, D., and Schwartz, E. A., 1982, Voltage-activated and calcium-activated currents in solitary rod inner segments from the salamander retina, J. Physiol. (London) 331: 253–284.Google Scholar
  2. Barish, M. E., 1983, A transient calcium-dependent chloride current in the immature Xenopus oocyte, J. Physiol. (London) 342: 309–325.Google Scholar
  3. Evans, M. G., and Marty, A., 1986, Calcium-dependent chloride currents in isolated cells from rat lacrimal glands, J. Physiol. (London) 378: 437–460.Google Scholar
  4. Kramer, R. H., and Zucker, R. S., 1985, Calcium-dependent inward current in Aplysia bursting pacemaker neurones, J. Physiol. (London) 362: 107–130.Google Scholar
  5. Kusano, K., Miledi, R., and Stinnarke, J., 1982, Cholinergic and catecholaminergic receptors in the Xenopus oocyte membrane, J. Physiol. (London) 328: 143–170.Google Scholar
  6. Marty, A., Tan, Y. P., and Trautmann, A., 1984, Three types of calcium-dependent channel in rat lacrimal glands, J. Physiol. (London) 357: 293–325.Google Scholar
  7. Mayer, M. L., 1985, A calcium-activated chloride current generates the after-depolarization of rat sensory neurones in culture, J. Physiol. (London) 364: 217–239.Google Scholar
  8. Miledi, R., 1982, A calcium-dependent transient outward current in Xenopus laevis oocytes, Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 215: 491–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Miledi, R., and Parker, I., 1984, Chloride current induced by injection of calcium into Xenopus oocytes, J. Physiol. (London) 357: 173–183.Google Scholar
  10. Oron, Y., Dascal, N., Nadler, E., and Lupu, M., 1985, Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate mimics muscarinic responses in Xenopus oocytes, Nature 313: 141–143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Owen, D. G., Segal, M., and Barker, J. L., 1986, Voltage-clamp analysis of a Ca2+- and voltage-dependent chloride conductance in cultured mouse spinal neurons, J. Neurophysiol. 55: 1115–1135.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Takahashi, T., Neher, E., and Sakmann, B., 1987, Rat brain serotonin receptors in Xenopus oocytes are coupled by intracellular calcium to endogenous channels, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 84: 611–615.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark L. Mayer
    • 1
  • David G. Owen
    • 2
  • Jeffrey L. Barker
    • 2
  1. 1.Unit of Neurophysiology and Biophysics, Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

Personalised recommendations