Chloride cell

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A microscopic image of two chloride cells in a gill

Chloride cells are cells in the gills of teleost fishes which pump excessive sodium and chloride ions out into the sea against a concentration gradient in marine fish. Alternatively, in the gills of freshwater teleost fish, they pump sodium and chloride ions into the fish, also against a concentration gradient.

Mechanism of action[edit]

Marine teleost fishes consume large quantities of seawater to reduce osmotic dehydration.[1] The excess of ions absorbed from seawater is pumped out of the teleost fishes via the chloride cells.[1] These cells use active transport on the basolateral (internal) surface to accumulate chloride, which then diffuses out of the apical (external) surface and into the surrounding environment.[2] Such mitochondria-rich cells are found in both the gill lamellae and filaments of teleost fish. Using a similar mechanism, freshwater teleost fish use these cells to take in salt from their dilute environment to prevent hyponatremia from water diffusing into the fish. [2]


  1. ^ a b Michael Allaby. "Chloride cells". A Dictionary of Zoology. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Wilmer, Pat; Stone, Graham; Johnston, Ian (2005). Environmental Physiology of Animals. Malden, MA: Blackwell. p. 85. ISBN 1-4051-0724-3.

External links[edit]