UNIT 7.10 Measurement of Chloride Movement in Neuronal Preparations

  1. Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom1,
  2. A. Christine Engblom2,
  3. Karl E. O. Åkerman3,
  4. Jon R. Inglefield4

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0710s04

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Schwartz-Bloom, R. D., Engblom, A. C., Åkerman, K. E. O. and Inglefield, J. R. 2001. Measurement of Chloride Movement in Neuronal Preparations. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 4:7.10:7.10.1–7.10.28.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

  2. 2

    Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen, Denmark

  3. 3

    Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

  4. 4

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: AUG 1998


In this unit, protocols are described for biochemical and optical techniques that have been used by investigators to measure ligand-gated chloride movement in vesicular structures called synaptoneurosomes (also referred to as microsacs), in cultured neurons, and in the acute brain slice. These techniques can be applied to other ions as well. The measurement of uptake and efflux of radioisotopic chloride in synaptoneurosomes is used to study the responses of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which are coupled to chloride channels. Similar chloride flux assays for primary neuronal cultures are also presented. Alternatively, the efflux of chloride from synaptoneurosomes and primary neuronal cultures can be studied using fluorescent dyes and photometry. Finally, the measurement of chloride uptake can be studied in individual neurons in brain slices using fluorescent dyes and optical imaging by nonconfocal and confocal microscopy. Several support protocols are provided as well, outlining the preparation of synaptoneurosomes from specific brain regions, and the preparation, loading, and calibration of chloride-sensitive fluorescent dyes.