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Vision Res. 2000;40(13):1653-65.

Opposite effects of GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptor antagonists on the b-wave of ERG recorded from the isolated rat retina.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Neuroscience Building, University of Michigan, 1103 E. Huron Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1687, USA.


The largest component in the fully dark-adapted ERG is a corneal-positive response, known as the b-wave, and believed to originate from depolarizing (ON-type) bipolar cells. The two types of GABA receptors, GABA(A) and GABA(C) have been reported to exist on bipolar cells in rat retina. The goal of these experiments was to find whether these GABA receptors participate in the generation of the b-wave of electroretinogram (ERG). ERGs were recorded from the isolated rat retinas. The P(2)(t) component, obtained by subtracting the ERGs measured before the application of 50 micrograms APB from those measured after the application of 50 micrograms APB, was used as an indicator of depolarizing bipolar cell activity. Photovoltages, the fast P(3)(t) component of ERG, were registered between the two microelectrodes across the rod outer segments. Bicuculline and 3-aminopropylphosphonic acid (3-APA) were used as selective antagonists of GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptors, respectively. It was found that the GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptors antagonists have opposite effects on the b-wave: bicuculline increased the b-wave amplitude, while 3-APA reduced the amplitude of the b-wave. Neither bicuculline nor 3-APA affect photoreceptors.

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