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Neuron. 1994 Aug;13(2):315-24.

Modulation of ion channels in rod photoreceptors by nitric oxide.

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Neuroscience Research Group University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Subcellular compartments in the outer retina of the larval tiger salamander were identified as likely sites of production of nitric oxide (NO), a recently recognized intercellular messenger. NADPH diaphorase histochemistry and NO synthase immunocytochemistry labeled photoreceptor ellipsoids and the distal regions of bipolar and glial cells apposing photoreceptor inner segments, suggesting a role for NO in visual processing in the outer retina. We investigated the actions of NO on several rod photoreceptor ion channels. Application of the NO-generating compound S-nitrosocysteine increased Ca2+ channel current and a voltage-independent conductance, but had no affect on voltage-gated K+ or nonspecific cation currents. Given the steep relation between voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx and photoreceptor synaptic output, these results indicate that NO could modulate transmission of the photoresponse to second order cells.

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