Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jul;85(14):5315-9.

L-glutamate-induced depolarization in solitary photoreceptors: a process that may contribute to the interaction between photoreceptors in situ.

Author information

Department of Information Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan.


L-Glutamate is a leading candidate for the vertebrate photoreceptor transmitter. In addition to the signal transmission to second-order neurons, photoreceptors communicate with each other not only electrically but also chemically. In the present study, by using solitary turtle photoreceptors, we examined the possibility that L-glutamate mediates interreceptor communication. L-Glutamate evoked an inward current in all subtypes of photoreceptors voltage-clamped to the resting potential. The highest glutamate sensitivity was located at the axon terminal. Both stereoisomers of aspartate were effective, whereas kainate, quisqualate, N-methyl-D-aspartate, and D-glutamate were ineffective. The presence of Na+ was essential to response generation; even Li+ could not substitute for Na+. The relation between L-glutamate-induced current and the membrane voltage was strongly inward-rectifying. These results favor the hypothesis that the L-glutamate-induced response is generated by an electrogenic uptake carrier. However, L-glutamate-induced current was always accompanied by an increase in current fluctuations, a phenomenon commonly observed in ion channels but not expected for an uptake carrier. Although the underlying mechanism needs further elucidation, it seems likely that L-glutamate is a transmitter for communication between photoreceptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center