Chloride Channels and Carriers in Nerve, Muscle, and Glial Cells

  • Francisco J. Alvarez-Leefmans
  • John M. Russell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Chloride Carriers

  3. Different Types of Cl− Channels

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 251-251
    2. Transmitter-Activated Anion Channels

    3. Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channels

      1. Mark L. Mayer, David G. Owen, Jeffrey L. Barker
        Pages 355-364
    4. Voltage-Activated Cl− Channels

      1. Dominique Chesnoy-Marchais
        Pages 367-382
      2. Christopher Miller, Edwin A. Richard
        Pages 383-405
      3. Andrew L. Blatz
        Pages 407-420
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 421-425

About this book


This is a book about how Cl- crosses the cell membranes of nerve, muscle, and glial cells. Not so very many years ago, a pamphlet rather than book might have resulted from such an endeavor! One might ask why Cl-, the most abundant biological anion, attracted so little attention from investigators. The main reason was that the prevailing paradigm for cellular ion homeostasis in the 1950s and 1960s assigned Cl- a ther­ modynamically passive and unspecialized role. This view was particularly prominent among muscle and neuroscience investigators. In searching for reasons for such a negative (no pun intended) viewpoint, it seems to us that it stemmed from two key experimental observations. First, work on frog skeletal muscle showed that Cl- was passively distributed between the cytoplasm and the extracellular fluid. Second, work on Cl- transport in red blood cells confirmed that the Cl- transmembrane distribution was thermodynamically passive and, in addition, showed that Cl- crossed the mem­ brane extremely rapidly. This latter finding [for a long time interpreted as being the result of a high passive chloride electrical permeability(? CI)] made it quite likely that Cl- would remain at thermodynamic equilibrium. These two observations were gener­ alized and virtually all cells were thought to have a very high P Cl and a ther­ modynamically passive Cl- transmembrane distribution. These concepts can still be found in some physiology and neuroscience textbooks.


attention blood cell cells neurons neuroscience physiology skeletal muscle

Editors and affiliations

  • Francisco J. Alvarez-Leefmans
    • 1
    • 2
  • John M. Russell
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Farmacología y ToxicologíaCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPNMexicoUSA
  2. 2.Departamento de NeurobiologíaInstituto Mexicano de PsiquiatríaMexicoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

Bibliographic information