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Vis Neurosci. 2005 May-Jun;22(3):359-70.

Whole-cell recording of light-evoked photoreceptor responses in a slice preparation of the cuttlefish retina.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, UK.


A new tissue slice preparation of the cuttlefish eye is described that permits patch-clamp recordings to be acquired from intact photoreceptors during stimulation of the retina with controlled light flashes. Whole-cell recordings using this preparation, from the retinas of very young Sepia officinalis demonstrated that the magnitude, latency, and kinetics of the flash-induced photocurrent are closely dependent on the magnitude of the flash intensity. Depolarizing steps to voltages more positive than -40 mV, from a membrane holding potential of -60 mV, induced a transient inward current followed by a larger, more sustained outward current in these early-stage photoreceptors. The latter current resembled the delayed rectifier (I(K)) already identified in many other nerve cells, including photoreceptors. This current was activated at -30 mV from a holding potential of -60 mV, had a sustained time course, and was blocked in a dose-dependent manner by tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA). The smaller, transient, inward current appeared at potentials more positive than -50 mV, reached peak amplitude at -30 mV and decreased with further depolarization. This current was characterized as the sodium current (I(Na)) on the basis that it was inactivated at holding potentials above -40 mV, was blocked by tetrodotoxin (TTX) and was insensitive to cobalt. Intracellular perfusion of the photoreceptors, via the patch pipette, demonstrated that U-73122 and heparin blocked the evoked photocurrent in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting the involvement of the phospholipase C (PLC) and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (InsP(3)), respectively, in the phototransduction cascade. Perfusion with cyclic GMP increased significantly the evoked photocurrent, while the inclusion of phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate reduced significantly the evoked photocurrent, supporting the involvement of cGMP and the diacylglycerol (DAG) pathways, respectively, in the cuttlefish transduction process.

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