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J Physiol. 1997 May 15;501 ( Pt 1):97-109.

Effect of hydroxylamine on photon-like events during dark adaptation in toad rod photoreceptors.

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Physiological Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK.


1. The suction pipette technique was used to investigate the recovery of toad rod photoreceptors following small bleaches of 0.2-3% of the rhodopsin. 2. The reduction in sensitivity and the increase in noise elicited by bleaches were measured, and from these measurements the underlying rate of occurrence of photon-like events was calculated as a function of time after the bleach. 3. Exposure to hydroxylamine solution was used to hasten the decomposition of the metarhodopsin photoproducts. The outer segment was exposed to 110 mM hydroxylamine in a low-Ca2+ Ringer solution for a period of 10-50 s beginning 10-17 min after the bleaching exposure. 4. By the time of the hydroxylamine exposure, the flash sensitivity and response kinetics had returned almost to normal, and were not significantly altered by the exposure. 5. Following hydroxylamine exposure, the rate of spontaneous photon-like events in the rods declined rapidly to near pre-bleach levels. 6. We conclude that hydroxylamine reduces the rate of occurrence of photon-like events induced by a bleach, and we postulate that this reduction results from the removal of metarhodopsin (most likely metarhodopsin II) from the outer segment. 7. Our results are consistent with a model in which photon-like events result from reversal of the reactions (phosphorylation and capping by arrestin) that lead to inactivation of the activated form of rhodopsin, Rh*.

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