Voltage-gated currents of rabbit A- and B-type horizontal cells in retinal monolayer cultures

Vis Neurosci. 1994 Mar-Apr;11(2):369-78. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800001711.


In monolayer cultures prepared from immature early postnatal rabbit retina, small populations of neurons can be demonstrated to differentiate into apparently mature A- and B-type horizontal cells. Using whole-cell, single-channel, patch-clamp recording techniques, we have analyzed the pattern of voltage-gated conductances expressed by mammalian horizontal cells under these conditions. A total of six different voltage-dependent ionic currents were recorded. Tetrodotoxin-sensitive fast sodium inward currents (INa) were found in 81% of the A-type and 90% of the B-type cells. Inward calcium currents could be demonstrated in all cells tested after blockade of other conductances. Two types of outward potassium currents with properties of the 4-aminopyridine-sensitive transient IA and the tetraethylammonium sensitive delayed rectifier IK, respectively, could be characterized in whole-cell recordings. An inward rectifying potassium current (Ianom) typical for horizontal cells was activated in response to hyperpolarizing voltage steps. These types of currents have also been described in dissociated adult horizontal cells from lower vertebrates and cat. With single-channel recordings on inside-out patches excised from B-type cells, an additional Ca(2+)-dependent current (IK(Ca)) was observed which, so far, has not been described in horizontal cells developing in situ. Our results demonstrate that cultured rabbit horizontal cells express a set of voltage-gated currents which largely, but not completely, corresponds to that described in situ for horizontal cells of other species. The culture system will allow further investigation of developmental and functional aspects of mammalian horizontal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / physiology
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology*


  • Ion Channels