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Distribution of GABAC-like responses among acutely dissociated rat retinal neurons

  • RALPH NELSON (a1), ANNE E. SCHAFFNER (a1), YONG-XIN LI (a1) (a2) and MARC K. WALTON (a3)
    • Published online: 01 January 1999

GABAergic responses of acutely dissociated rat retinal neurons, including both bipolar cells (BCs) and other, morphologically round cells (RCs), were assayed with the fluorescent (FL), voltage-sensitive probe oxonol DiBaC4(5). Using intensified video microscopy and simultaneous recording, GABA responses were identified in one-third of cells in a typical microscope field; of these 85% hyperpolarized (0.05–0.3 log unit FL decreases) while the remainder depolarized (0.05–0.2 log unit FL increases). GABA-sensitive cells were also TACA-sensitive (trans-4-Aminocrotonic acid), and these ligands appeared interchangeable in ability to evoke responses. In RCs, an asymmetric co-responsive pattern was observed between GABA- and muscimol-evoked events. Muscimol-sensitive RCs responded well to GABA, but not all GABA-sensitive RCs responded to muscimol. In GABA-sensitive BCs, muscimol responses were typically weak or absent. Few BCs or RCs responded to CACA (cis-4-Aminocrotonic acid). Bicuculline-resistant GABA responses occurred in ∼80% of GABA-responsive RCs and BCs. Both bicuculline-sensitive (GABAA-like) and bicuculline-insensitive (GABAC-like) responses were resistant to picrotoxin. Although a small minority of GABA-sensitive cells hyperpolarized in response to R(+)baclofen, bicuculline-insensitive responses were not antagonized by 2-hydroxysaclofen, and were abolished in low [Cl]o. Results suggested (1) that bicuculline-insensitive, Cl-dependent, GABAC-like responses were broadly distributed and predominant among dissociated rat retinal neurons; (2) that muscimol was a particularly weak agonist for rat retinal BCs; and (3) that oxonol was a sensitive probe for retinal GABA responses.

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Ralph Nelson, Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Building 36 Room 2C02, 36 Convent Dr. MSC 4066, Bethesda, MD 20892-4066, USA.
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Visual Neuroscience
  • ISSN: 0952-5238
  • EISSN: 1469-8714
  • URL: /core/journals/visual-neuroscience
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