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Neuron. 1994 Oct;13(4):849-61.

The calcium feedback signal in the phototransduction cascade of vertebrate rods.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Intracellular free Ca (Cai) was measured in functionally intact rod outer segments in darkness and during light responses using the fluorescent Ca indicator Indo-dextran. In darkness, Cai was 554 +/- 25 nM (n = 28) for -85 +/- 2 pA of circulating dark current (Id) and declined in saturating light to a minimum value of approximately 50 nM with a time course that paralleled the fall in Na:Ca,K exchange current. During a subsaturating flash response that reduced Id by 70%, Cai fell to a minimum of approximately 325 nM and recovered incompletely to a plateau of approximately 450 nM that lasted approximately 15 s after full recovery of Id. During a 60 s step that caused approximately 7-fold reduction in sensitivity of superimposed flash responses, Cai reached a steady-state level of approximately 252 nM.

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