Depolarizing actions of GABA and glycine on amphibian retinal horizontal cells.

Article date: 1991/3/1

PubMed ID: 1646870

Journal name: Journal of neurophysiology (ISSN: 0022-3077)


1. The effects of inhibitory amino acid transmitters on horizontal cells in the superfused amphibian retina were studied by the use of conventional intracellular recording techniques. 2. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) caused a calcium-independent depolarization of horizontal cells in mud puppy and tiger salamander. This action was mimicked by muscimol but not baclofen (BAC) and blocked by bicuculline and picrotoxin (PTX), matching the GABAa receptor profile. 3. The purported GABA uptake inhibitors nipecotate (NPA) and guvacine (GUV) acted as GABAa agonists, having pharmacological properties very similar to GABA itself. These agents also activated receptors of amacrine and ganglion cells, causing membrane polarizations similar to GABA. Concentrations of these analogues that did not activate the GABAa receptor (submillimolar) did not lower the effective dose of GABA, even after prolonged application. 4. Glycine (GLY) also depolarized horizontal cells, but only in approximately 25% of the horizontal cells was the amplitude of the depolarization as great as GABA. The glycine response was blocked by both strychnine (STR, 10 microM) and PTX (100 microM). In contrast, the action of GABA was unaffected by STR. 5. Ion substitution and channel-blocking agents indicated that the effects of applied GABA and GLY were independent of both external sodium and calcium. 6. The results suggest that GABA receptors on horizontal cells may act 1) as a positive feedback system to modulate the light response and 2) as a mechanism for chemical coupling between horizontal cells.

Author List: Stockton R A, Slaughter M M

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Substances mentioned in the article: GABA Antagonists; Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents; Nicotinic Acids; Receptors, GABA-A; Picrotoxin; Kynurenine; Cobalt; guvacine; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; Lithium; Baclofen; Glycine; Bicuculline;

Mesh terms: Animals; Baclofen/pharmacology; Bicuculline/pharmacology; Cobalt/pharmacology; GABA Antagonists; Glycine/pharmacology; In Vitro Techniques; Kynurenine/pharmacology; Lithium/pharmacology; Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents; Nicotinic Acids/pharmacology; Picrotoxin/pharmacology; Receptors, GABA-A/drug effects; Retina/cytology; Urodela; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/pharmacology;

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