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. 1988 Dec;406:163-79.
doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1988.sp017374.

Metabolic Flux of Cyclic GMP and Phototransduction in Rabbit Retina

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Metabolic Flux of Cyclic GMP and Phototransduction in Rabbit Retina

A Ames 3rd et al. J Physiol. .
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1. Rabbit retinas were isolated and subjected in vitro to shifts between light and darkness in the presence or absence of four concentrations of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). Changes in the rate of cyclic GMP hydrolysis (determined by 18O labelling of guanine nucleotide alpha-phosphoryls) and in total cyclic GMP content (determined by radioimmunoassay) were compared with the changes in the electrical potential across the retina. The experiments were designed so that the changes in potential would reflect changes in the light-sensitive conductance of the photoreceptors. 2. IBMX at 27-730 microM caused dose-related reductions in cyclic GMP hydrolysis in both light and darkness. The reductions in hydrolysis were associated with almost equal reductions in synthesis, so that there was little increase in the total content of cyclic GMP despite large changes in its metabolic flux. 3. Shifting from light (2.3 x 10(3) photons microns-2 s-1) to darkness also caused large reductions in the metabolic flux of cyclic GMP, with little increase in its total content. 4. Reductions in cyclic GMP flux were always associated with increases in the vitreous-positive transretinal potential, which was used as a measure of photoreceptor outer segment conductance, and the inverse correlation between flux and potential was closely maintained (r = 0.98) under all conditions examined. The correlation between total cyclic GMP content and transretinal potential was much less close. 5. Since IBMX and darkness acted similarly and additively, the combination of IBMX and darkness caused large decreases, of up to 21-fold, in cyclic GMP flux and large increases, of up to 23-fold, in the transretinal potential. 6. Kinetic analysis of the data indicated that the great majority (about 95%) of the light-sensitive conductance was closed under physiological conditions in darkness. 7. The data appear to be consistent with a system in which much of the cyclic GMP is bound, in which the binding is increased by light, and in which the free cyclic GMP acts co-operatively with a Hill coefficient of 3 to open outer segment conductance and to inhibit guanylate cyclase.

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