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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2005 Jan;191(1):75-84. Epub 2004 Nov 19.

Light dependence of oxygen consumption by blowfly eyes recorded with a magnetic diver balance.

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Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology, University of Ljubljana, Vecna pot 111, P.O. Box 2995, 1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


We measured the oxygen (O2) consumption of isolated blowfly eyes using a magnetic diver balance, a device for high-resolution volumetric O2 consumption measurements. The light-induced O2 consumption is at most three times the value of the dark consumption, which is 0.6 nl O2 s(-1) eye(-1), and is in good agreement with the estimates based on electrophysiological data. With longer stimuli the increase follows a double exponential time course. The respective time constants are approximately 2 and 20 s and show no dependence on light intensity, whereas the dependence of amplitudes can be fitted by a Hill equation. Decreasing the stimulus duration reveals that the peak in O2 consumption overshoots the time course induced by long stimuli. We suggest this may be a general feature of mitochondrial activation. The dependence of the O2 consumption peak on stimulus duration at high light intensity has a hump with stimulus durations of 10-20 ms, coinciding with the stimulus durations that start to induce the adaptation of the receptor potential.

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