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Nature. 1983 Jun 9-15;303(5917):537-8.

Bipolar cells in the mudpuppy retina use an excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter.


The bipolar cells of the vertebrate retina are the principal neuronal elements which transmit photoreceptor activity from the outer to the inner retina. An important function of the bipolars is to segregate photoreceptor input into independent ON and OFF channels which are subserved, respectively, by the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing bipolar subtypes. Ultrastructural and physiological observations suggest that chemical neurotransmission is the predominant means of bipolar input to the inner retina. Both ON and OFF bipolars apparently release excitatory transmitters. Histological studies with cytotoxic agents and physiological studies indicate that third-order neurones have excitatory amino acid receptors. In ON-OFF amacrine and ganglion cells, which receive input from both bipolars, ON and OFF excitation have a similar ionic basis, suggesting that the same transmitter may be released by both types of bipolars. We have now found that (+/-)cis-2,3-piperidine dicarboxylic acid (PDA), a new excitatory amino acid antagonist, blocks bipolar input to the inner retina and thus suggests that an excitatory amino acid is a bipolar cell transmitter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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