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Brain Res. 1996 Feb 5;708(1-2):191-6.

A differential effect of APB on ON- and OFF-center ganglion cells in the dark adapted rabbit retina.

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Department of Biology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02167, USA.


The glutamate analog, 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (APB) is a proven tool in exploring the retinal circuit; it has been shown to interfere specifically with the transmission from photoreceptor to depolarizing bipolar cell. Consequently, in photopic retinae, the application of APB disrupts the ON-channel leaving the OFF-channel undisturbed; on the other hand, in the scotopic state, APB application blocks all ganglion cell responses. In this paper, we will show that the ON- and OFF-channels have a differential sensitivity to application of APB. That is to say, APB blocks center responses in ON-ganglion cells at mean concentration of 22 +/- 5.1 microM (mean +/- standard error of the mean; n = 15) and in OFF-ganglion cells at mean concentration of 91 +/- 15.5 microM (n = 16). Since considerable data rule out direct effects of APB on ganglion cells, we hypothesize that this effect is due to a difference in the synaptic gain of ON and OFF pathways in the inner retina.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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