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Plasma membrane chloride channels (ClCs) play important roles in a broad range of cellular processes including cell volume regulation, proliferation, and transepithelial transport, all of which are critical during preimplantation embryonic development. In this study, the molecular and functional expression of voltage-gated ClCs was analyzed throughout preimplantation development of the mouse conceptus. mRNA transcripts for all Clcn genes were detected. Only Clcn1 mRNA showed differential expression in the blastocyst, being detected in the trophectoderm but not in the inner cell mass. CLCN3 protein was detected at low levels in the cytoplasm and plasma membrane in 4-cell embryos and was localized to the apical plasma membrane of the trophoblasts in the blastocyst. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrated the presence of a DIDS-sensitive, outwardly rectifying Cl(-) current throughout development, with this conductance being large at the 1-cell, morula and blastocyst stages. A second DIDS-insensitive Cl(-) current, which was inactivated by membrane depolarization, was present in cells differentiating into the trophoblast lineage and during blastocyst expansion. Inhibition of the DIDS-sensitive current and the DIDS-insensitive current, with 9-AC, prevented blastocyst expansion.


I Arnaiz, M H Johnson, D I Cook, M L Day. Changing expression of chloride channels during preimplantation mouse development. Reproduction (Cambridge, England). 2013 Jan;145(1):73-84

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PMID: 23115349

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