Passive signal propagation and membrane properties in median photoreceptors of the giant barnacle

The Journal of Physiology
A J HudspethA E Stuart


1. The light-induced electrical responses of barnacle photoreceptors spread decrementally along the cells' axons. The decay of the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing components of the visual signal was studied by recording intracellularly from single receptor axons of the median ocellus of the giant barnacle.2. The resistance of the photoreceptor neurone decreases markedly when the cell is depolarized with respect to its dark resting potential of -60 mV. This rectification results in differential attenuation of the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing components of the visual signal as they spread down the axon. Consequently, the visual signal entering the synaptic region is conspicuously distorted.3. Bathing the photoreceptor axons in sodium-free or calcium-free saline or in isotonic sucrose does not significantly affect the spread of the visual signal to the terminals. Thus the signal is not amplified by an ionic mechanism along the axon.4. Membrane characteristics of the photoreceptor for hyperpolarizing voltage changes were estimated from (a) the ratio of the amplitudes of the visual signals recorded simultaneously in the axon and in the soma, (b) the time constant, and (c) the input resistance of the cell. All three independent ...Continue Reading


May 29, 2007·Progress in Neurobiology·A E StuartIan A Meinertzhagen
Mar 20, 1999·Microscopy Research and Technique·J C Callaway, A E Stuart
Nov 1, 1984·Journal of Neurobiology·E L Peterson
Mar 1, 1993·Visual Neuroscience·J H Hayashi, A E Stuart

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