Epithelial Chloride Channels

  • R. Greger
  • K. Kunzelmann


The present short overview summarizes the role of chloride channels in epithelial transport. At present, we are aware of a general concept in which chloride uptake is carrier mediated and driven by the electrochemical gradient for chloride and the cotransported or countertransported ions, and in which chloride exit occurs via chloride channels. Basically, two concepts have been suggested to account for hormonal upregulation of chloride transport. The first involves primary stimulation of potassium pathways (Petersen 1987), resulting in cell hyperpolarization and a consequent increase in the driving force for conductive chloride exit from the cell. The other involves a primary increase in chloride conductance and, thus, depolarization of the cell. This results in an increased driving force for conductive potassium exit from the cell (Greger et al. 1986). In the many different chloride-secreting epithelia that exist, it may turn out that the models described above may only be extremes and that intermediate constellations may also occur (Marty et al. 1984; Young et al. 1988). The currently known mechanisms of channel activation make it seem likely that we will have to deal with more than one or two general mechanisms of channel regulation.


Cystic Fibrosis Chloride Channel Chloride Current Respiratory Epithelial Cell Chloride Conductance 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Greger
  • K. Kunzelmann

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