In muscle fibers from the rat diaphragm, 85% of the resting membrane ion conductance is attributable to Cl-. At 37 degree C and pH 7.0, GCl averages 2.11 mmho/cm2 while residual conductance largely due to K+ averages 0.34 mmho/cm2. The resting GCl exhibits a biphasic temperature dependence with a Q10 of 1.6 between 6 degree C and 25 degree C and a Q10 of nearly 1 between 25 degree C and 40 degree C. Decreasing external pH reversibly reduced GCl; the apparent pK for groups mediating this decrease is 5.5. Increasing pH up to 10.0 had no effect on GCl. Anion conductance sequence and permeability sequence were both determined to be Cl-greater than Br-greater than or equal to I-greater than CH3SO4-. Lowering the pH below 5.5 reduced the magnitude of the measured conductance to all anions but did not alter the conductance sequence. The permeability sequence was likewise unchanged at low pH. Experiments with varying molar ratios of Cl- and I- indicated a marked interaction between these ions in their transmembrane movement. Similar but less striking interaction was seen between Cl- and Br-. Current-voltage relationships for GCl measured at early time-points in the presence of Rb+ were linear, but showed marked rectification with longer hyperpolarizing pulses (greater than 50ms) due to a slow time-and voltage-dependent change in membrane conductance to Cl-. This nonlinear behavior appeared to depend on the concentration of Cl- present but cannot be attributed to tubular ion accumulation. Tubular disruption with glycerol lowers apparent GCl but not GK, suggesting that the transverse tubule (T-tubule) system is permeable to Cl- in this species. Quantitative estimates indicate that up to 80% of GCl may be associated with the T tubules.

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