Suppression by glutamate of cGMP-activated conductance in retinal bipolar cells

Scott Nawy, Craig E. Jahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


DEPOLARIZING bipolar cells (DBCs) of the retina are the only neurons in the vertebrate central nervous system known to be hyperpolarized by the neurotransmitter glutamate1. Both glutamate and its analogue L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (APB) hyperpolarize DBCs by decreasing membrane conductance2-5. Furthermore, glutamate responses in DBCs slowly decrease during whole-cell recording, suggesting that the response involves a second messenger system6. Here we report that intracellular cyclic GMP or GTP activates a membrane conductance that is suppressed by APB, resulting in an enhanced APB response. In the presence of GTP-γ-S, APB causes an irreversible suppression of the conductance. Inhibitors of G-protein activation or phosphodiesterase activity decrease the APB response. Thus, the DBC glutamate receptor seems to close ion channels by increasing the rate of cGMP hydrolysis by a G protein-mediated process that is strikingly similar to light transduction in photoreceptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-271
Number of pages3
Issue number6281
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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