Send to

Choose Destination
Vis Neurosci. 1992 Jan;8(1):9-18.

Light-dependent delay in the falling phase of the retinal rod photoresponse.

Author information

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago 60612.


Using suction electrodes, photocurrent responses to 100-ms saturating flashes were recorded from isolated retinal rods of the larval-stage tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). The delay period (Tc) that preceded recovery of the dark current by a criterion amount (3 pA) was analyzed in relation to the flash intensity (If), and to the corresponding fractional bleach (R*0/Rtot) of the visual pigment; R*0/Rtot was compared with R*s/Rtot, the fractional bleach at which the peak level of activated transducin approaches saturation. Over an approximately 8 ln unit range of I(f) that included the predicted value of R*s/Rtot, Tc increased linearly with ln I(f). Within the linear range, the slope of the function yielded an apparent exponential time constant (tau c) of 1.7 +/- 0.2 s (mean +/- S.D.). Background light reduced the value of Tc measured at a given flash intensity but preserved a range over which Tc increased linearly with ln I(f); the linear-range slope was similar to that measured in the absence of background light. The intensity dependence of Tc resembles that of a delay (Td) seen in light-scattering experiments on bovine retinas, which describes the period of essentially complete activation of transducin following a bright flash; the slope of the function relating Td and ln flash intensity is thought to reflect the lifetime of photoactivated visual pigment (R*) (Pepperberg et al., 1988; Kahlert et al., 1990). The present data suggest that the electrophysiological delay has a similar basis in the deactivation kinetics of R*, and that tau c represents TR*, the lifetime of R* in the phototransduction process. The results furthermore suggest a preservation of the "dark-adapted" value of TR* within the investigated range of background intensity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center