Membrane properties of a barnacle photoreceptor examined by the voltage clamp technique

H M Brown, S Hagiwara, H Koike, R M Meech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

132 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. Electrical properties of the membrane of photoreceptor cells in the lateral ocelli of barnacles, Balanus amphitrite and B. eburneus were investigated by intracellular recording, polarization and voltage-clamp techniques.2. The resting potential of a dark adapted cell was 36.3 +/- 6.6 mV (S.D.) and depended mainly on the external K(+) concentration.3. Current-voltage relations obtained from voltage-clamp experiments in the absence of light were non-linear and varied with time after the onset of a step change in membrane potential; the steady state was reached after about 0.5 sec.4. Illumination resulted in a membrane potential change under current clamp and in a change of membrane current (light-initiated membrane current (L.I.C.): total membrane current with illumination minus current without illumination) under voltage-clamp conditions. Amplitudes and time course of L.I.C. depended on the light intensity as well as membrane potential.5. The L.I.C.-voltage relation was non-linear and corresponded with a slope conductance increase with increasing positive membrane potential.6. The reversal potential of L.I.C. was independent of the light intensity and the time after onset of illumination; the average value obtained in normal saline was +26.9 +/- 5.0 mV.7. The membrane conductance estimated from instantaneous L.I.C.-voltage relations agreed with the chord conductance of the non-linear L.I.C.-voltage relation.8. Decreasing external Na(+) concentration decreased the inward component of L.I.C. but not the outward component.9. Decreasing external Ca(2+) concentration increased the inward as well as the outward component of L.I.C.10. The reversal potential shifted in the negative direction with decreasing external Na(+) concentration (the rate was 10-15 mV for a tenfold change in concentration) and the rate was augmented in the absence of Ca(2+) but did not exceed 21 mV.11. The change of reversal potential with changes of external Ca(2+) concentration was negligible in normal Na(+) media but was significant in the absence of Na(+) (rate as high as 20 mV).12. Alteration of the external K(+) or Cl(-) concentrations did not affect the amplitude or reversal potential of L.I.C.13. The results indicate that illumination increases the membrane permeability mainly to Na(+) ions and that the primary effect of Ca(2+) ions is suppression of the permeability increase; Ca(2+) permeability may increase slightly during illumination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-413
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume208
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1970

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Cell Membrane/physiology
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Chlorides/metabolism
  • Crustacea

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