Calcium-activated chloride channels in the retina

Channels (Austin). 2008 Jul-Aug;2(4):252-60. doi: 10.4161/chan.2.4.6704. Epub 2008 Jul 30.


This review examines the function of calcium-activated chloride currents (I(Cl(Ca))) in the retina with an emphasis on their physiological role in photoreceptors. Although found in a variety of neurons and glial cells of the retina, I(Cl(Ca)) has been most prominently studied in cones, where it activates in response to depolarization-evoked Ca(2+) influx. The slow and complex gating kinetics of the chloride current have been considered to reflect the changing submembrane concentration of intracellular calcium. It is likely that the role of I(Cl(Ca)) is to stabilize the membrane potential of cones during synaptic activity and presynaptic Ca channel modulation. Several candidates in the molecular identification of the channel have been put forward but the issue remains unresolved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / chemistry
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Chloride / metabolism
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism*
  • Chlorides / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Xenopus


  • Chloride Channels
  • Chlorides
  • Calcium Chloride
  • Calcium