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Comp Biochem Physiol C. 1991;98(1):115-27.

Membrane currents and pharmacology of retinal bipolar cells: a comparative study on goldfish and mouse.

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National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan.


We obtained solitary bipolar cells using enzymatic (papain) dissociation of the goldfish and mouse (C57BL/6J, adult) retinae and measured the membrane currents of these cells by whole-cell patch clamp. Bipolar cells of these two species showed two main differences. A. Ca current 1. In the mouse, depolarization evoked a transient Ca current that had maximal amplitude at about -30 mV. 2. The Ca conductance was activated by voltage steps to potentials greater than -60 mV and inactivated fully at potentials greater than -20 mV. 3. The mouse Ca current was insensitive to Cd2+ or dihydropyridine. 4. Contrary to mouse, goldfish bipolar cells had a sustained Ca current, which was activated over a more positive potential range (greater than -30 mV), blocked by either 50 microM Cd2+ or 10 microM nifedipine, and markedly augmented by 10 microM Bay K8644. 5. The transient character of the Ca current in mouse bipolar cells may help to shape phasic responses of ganglion cells, while in goldfish the sustained nature of Ca current may contribute to shape tonic responses of ganglion cells. B. Pharmacology 1. We examined the effects of the inhibitory transmitters, glycine and GABA, on bipolar cells. 2. GABA produced strong inhibitory effects on bipolar cells of both goldfish and mouse. 3. The highest GABA sensitivity was found at the bipolar cell axon terminal, the site of reciprocal connection with amacrine cells. 4. GABA increased the Cl conductance. 5. Unlike GABA, glycine was effective only on the mouse bipolar cells. Axon terminals showed the highest glycine sensitivity. 6. Glycine-induced currents were also carried by Cl ions. 7. Since ECl in intact cells is assumed to be -55 mV, both GABA and glycine are thought to generate hyperpolarizing responses in cells maintained at their resting potential (ca. -45 mV). 8. The present study suggests that inhibition from amacrine cells to bipolar cells, found in both species, is mediated by different transmitters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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