Ligand-gated currents of alpha and beta ganglion cells in the cat retinal slice.
1. We studied the receptor pharmacology of the ligand-gated currents of ON- and OFF- alpha and beta ganglion cells in a cat retinal slice preparation using the whole cell recording variation of the patch-clamp technique. Cat retinal slices were cut in N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N'-2-ethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) buffer and incubated in a bicarbonate-buffered solution. Ganglion cells were voltage clamped at -70 mV in HEPES-buffered Ringer solution. The pipette solution contained a low concentration of Cl- to distinguish mixed cationic from Cl(-)-mediated conductances, and Lucifer yellow (0.5%) was included for identification of the cell type. 2. In Ringer solution containing 1.2 mM Mg2+, current-voltage (I-V) curves of responses to the excitatory amino acid agonist (EAA) N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) (200 microM) revealed a J-shaped function. In Mg(2+)-free Ringer solution containing 200 microM Cd2+ to block synaptic transmission, NMDA (200 microM) elicited an inward current 5-8 times larger at -70 mV. In both conditions I-V curves of the NMDA-induced currents reversed near 0 mV. These results suggest that there are NMDA EAA receptors present directly on the dendrites of alpha and beta ganglion cells. Responses to NMDA were blocked by +/- 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid (AP7) (200 microM). 3. In Ringer solution containing 200-1,000 microM Cd2+ to block synaptic transmission, both ON- and OFF- alpha and beta cells responded to kainic acid (10-50 microM), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid (AMPA) (20-70 microM), and quisqualic acid (0.1-30 microM) with inward currents that reversed near 0 mV. These responses were blocked by the quinoxaline EAA antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) (10 microM). The metabotropic agonists 1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (ACPD) (25 microM) and L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-APB) (50 microM) and L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-APB) (50 microM) in the presence of Cd2+ evoked little or no response for all cells tested. 4. In the presence of Cd2+, alpha and beta cells responded to gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) (200 microM) and glycine (200 microM) with inward currents that reversed near -35 mV, the calculated chloride equilibrium potential Ecl. Responses to GABA and glycine were both strongly desensitizing. (+)Bicuculline methyl chloride (20 microM) blocked an average of 90% of the inward current evoked by 200 microM GABA on all ganglion cell types.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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