Single channels in mouse neuroblastoma cells with a high conductance of about 400 pS were described using the patch-clamp technique in the inside-out configuration. The channels were selective for Cl- as compared to cations and exhibited a linear I-V relationship between +40 and -40 mV. These Cl- channels were voltage-dependent and were activated by both depolarizing and hyperpolarizing potential steps from 0 mV to 10-40 mV. They closed, becoming inactivated, in tens of milliseconds (for depolarization) up to tens of seconds (for hyperpolarization) after each potential step. The typical feature of Cl- channels described was the dissipation of their conductance into several substates during the course of individual recordings.