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Neuroscience. 1992;47(1):241-7.

Signal transmission from pineal photoreceptors to luminosity-type ganglion cells in the lamprey, Lampetra japonica.

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1st Department of Physiology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


In order to study the signal transmission from pineal photoreceptors to luminosity (achromatic)-type ganglion cells of the lamprey, Lampetra japonica, the electrical activity of these cell groups was investigated using intra- and extracellular electrodes. By intracellular recording, it was shown that the photoreceptor cells responded to flashes of light with hyperpolarizations, and the ganglion cells also hyperpolarized with concurrent suppression of spike discharges. Concerning the slow membrane potentials, the light intensity-response relationships of both cell groups followed the Naka-Rushton hyperbolic function. The intensity range over which the ganglion cells responded was broader than that of the photoreceptors. The spectral sensitivity curve of the luminosity-type ganglion cell coincided with that of the photoreceptor, showing a peak sensitivity at 525 nm. Membrane resistance of the ganglion cells increased during light stimulation. These results suggest that the luminosity-type ganglion cell receives and integrates signals from photoreceptors with various light sensitivities, having a peak spectral sensitivity at 525 nm. The synaptic mechanism from the photoreceptors to the ganglion cell is a type of disfacilitation.

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