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Vision Res. 2011 Jan;51(1):131-7. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.10.011. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Endogenous nitric oxide enhances the light-response of cones during light-adaptation in the rat retina.

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Biology Research Division, Graduate School of Science, Toho University, 2-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi, 274-8510 Chiba, Japan.


The electroretinogram (ERG) is a non-invasive indicator of retinal function. Light flashes evoke a cornea-negative a-wave followed by a cornea-positive b-wave. Light-adaptation is known to increase the amplitude of cone-dependent b-waves. To identify the underlying mechanism, we recorded rat cone photoresponses in situ, using intravitreally-injected glutamate to block synaptic transmission and intense paired-flash stimuli to isolate cone a-waves. Steady adapting illumination caused a progressive increase in cone a-wave amplitude, which was suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by intravitreal CPTIO, a nitric oxide scavenger. We conclude that light-adaptation causes release of nitric oxide, which enhances the cone photoresponse.

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