Bear, Connors and Paradiso describe in depth the electrical behaviour of the neuron. This depends upon a 20:1 concentration within the cytoplasm of potassium ions AND chloride ions. All subsequent activity revolves around potassium and sodium ion channels and pumps. No mention is given of how the initial chloride concentration is created and its subsequent regulation. Obviously there has to be a chloride pump but there’s no mention of it. Any help would be appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ Check out the potassium-chloride cotransporter KCC2 as well as GABA Receptors as chloride ion conductances in neurons. Maybe overkill but a nice review here: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4294553 $\endgroup$ – Louis Leung Nov 8 '17 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Many thanks Louis. I’m a beginner in cell biology and perhaps I misread the diagrams in Neuroscience exploring the Brain. It makes sense to me now just to assume that the neuron gains its anions soley from those provided by the ‘original’ dissolved potassium and sodium salts that were isolated within the cytoplasm during the cell’s devolment. Perhaps I’ve got it right! $\endgroup$ – adlibber Nov 9 '17 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ Not quite, the examples I listed show the neuron has capabilities to change its internal anion concentration (passively or actively) which has knock-on effects for it's excitability and is not just what is left over from the ionisation of salts containing chloride. Hope that makes sense. $\endgroup$ – Louis Leung Nov 9 '17 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! The abstract gets you going, eh Louis?! Thank you so much. I’ll be reading all 43 pages. Best wishes Mike Kidd. $\endgroup$ – adlibber Nov 10 '17 at 8:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks to Louis Leung introducing me to cellular cotransportation I can now envisage how the neuron (in particular) obtains its “background” chloride base thus enabling thecreation and transmission of nerve signals. Given the presence of sodium-potassium pumps and NKCC1 sodium-chloride cotransporters we now have a mechanism for achieving the necessary chlorode base negativity in the neuron’s axon. I’m sure that Louis will correct my amateurish description if it’s in serious conflict with the science! $\endgroup$ – adlibber Nov 10 '17 at 12:31

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