Cl- transport in the loop of Henle is responsible for reclamation of 25-40% of the filtered NaCl load and for the formation of dilute urine. Our understanding of the physiologic and molecular mechanisms responsible for Cl- reabsorption in both the thin ascending limb and thick ascending limb of Henle's loop has increased greatly over the last decade. Plasma membrane Cl- channels are known to play an integral role in transcellular Cl- transport in both the thin and thick ascending limbs. This review focuses on the functional characteristics and molecular identities of these Cl- channels, as well as the role of these channels in the pathophysiology of disease.
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