Light-induced changes in GTP and ATP in frog rod photoreceptors. Comparison with recovery of dark current and light sensitivity during dark adaptation

J Gen Physiol. 1985 Jan;85(1):107-21. doi: 10.1085/jgp.85.1.107.


Light decreases GTP and ATP levels in purified suspensions of physiologically active frog rod outer segments still attached to their inner segment ellipsoids (OS-IS). (a) The GTP decrease is slower in OS-IS (t1/2 = 40 s) than in isolated outer segments (t1/2 = 7 s), which suggests there is more effective buffering in OS-IS. (b) The GTP decrease becomes detectable only at intensities greater than those required to saturate the photoresponse. As the intensity of a continuous light is increased over 4 log units, GTP levels decrease linearly with log intensity by as much as 60%. GTP is reduced to steady intermediate levels during extended illumination of intermediate intensity. (c) At levels of illumination bleaching greater than 0.003% of the rhodopsin, a decrease in ATP levels becomes detectable. (d) Following a flash, GTP levels fall and then rise with a recovery time dependent on the intensity of the flash. (e) After both 0.2 and 2% flash bleaches, the recovery of GTP levels parallels the recovery of light sensitivity, which is slower than the recovery of the dark current. This raises the possibility of a link between GTP levels and light sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Anura
  • Dark Adaptation*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Light*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects*


  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate