BACKGROUND The ionic mechanism underlying the transient inward current (I(ti)), the current responsible for delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs), appears to be different in ventricular myocytes and Purkinje fibers. In ventricular myocytes, I(ti) was ascribed to a Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchange current, whereas in Purkinje fibers, it was additionally ascribed to a Cl(-) current and a nonselective cation current. If Cl(-) current contributes to I(ti) and thus to DADs, Cl(-) current blockade may be potentially antiarrhythmogenic. In this study, we investigated the ionic nature of I(ti) in single sheep Purkinje and ventricular myocytes and the effects of Cl(-) current blockade on DADs. METHODS AND RESULTS In whole-cell patch-clamp experiments, I(ti) was induced by repetitive depolarizations from -93 to +37 mV in the presence of 1 micromol/L norepinephrine. In both Purkinje and ventricular myocytes, I(ti) was inward at negative potentials and outward at positive potentials. The anion blocker 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS) blocked outward I(ti) completely but inward I(ti) only slightly. The DIDS-sensitive component of I(ti) was outwardly rectifying, with a reversal close to the reversal potential of Cl(-) currents. Blockade of Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchange by substitution of extracellular Na(+) by equimolar Li(+) abolished the DIDS-insensitive component of I(ti). DIDS reduced both DAD amplitude and triggered activity based on DADs. Conclusions-In both Purkinje and ventricular myocytes, I(ti) consists of 2 ionic mechanisms: a Cl(-) current and a Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchange current. Blockade of the Cl(-) current may be potentially antiarrhythmogenic by lowering DAD amplitude and triggered activity based on DADs.