Morphology and responses to light of the somata, axons, and terminal regions of individual photoreceptors of the giant barnacle

The Journal of Physiology
A J Hudspeth, A E Stuart


1. The median eye of the giant barnacle, B. nubilus, comprises four large photoreceptor neurones which are visible under the dissecting microscope for almost their entire length. We have studied the structure of, and the responses to light recorded in, the somata, axons, and terminal regions of these neurones.2. The photoreceptor somata, each 40-70 mum in diameter, extend numerous light-sensitive dendritic processes whose membranes form rhabdomeric microvilli. Recordings from the soma show that dim light evokes a steady, noisy depolarization; brighter light elicits a transient depolarization which decays to a maintained plateau, followed by a hyperpolarization when the light is turned off.3. Light-induced voltage changes spread decrementally along the photoreceptor axons, which average 10 mm in length and 25 mum in diameter. In distal parts of the axon, near the presynaptic terminals, depolarizations and hyperpolarizations can be as large as 50% or more of their values in the soma.4. There is no demonstrable electrical coupling between photoreceptor neurones as shown by simultaneous recordings from two receptor somata or axons.5. Each photoreceptor axon enters the mid line commissure of the supraoesophageal ganglion, bifurcates...Continue Reading


Aug 1, 1979·The Journal of Membrane Biology·W N Ross, L F Reichardt
May 29, 2007·Progress in Neurobiology·A E StuartIan A Meinertzhagen
Mar 1, 1993·Visual Neuroscience·J H Hayashi, A E Stuart

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