1. We have used two experimental approaches to examine regulation of intracellular calcium ion levels in fish retinal ganglion cells. In the first set of experiments, we ratio-imaged fura-2 emission intensity to estimate the concentration of free intracellular calcium ions ([Ca2+](i)) in isolated goldfish retinal ganglion cells depolarized by increases in extracellular levels of potassium ions ([K+](o)), in the presence and absence of extracellular sodium ions (Na+). Stepwise increases in [K+](o) from 5 mM to as high as 60 mM produced stepwise increases in [Ca2+](i). These increases were sustained in the absence of external Na+, but transient and smaller in the presence of external Na+. The decline of [Ca2+](i) in high-K+, Na+- containing saline could be reversed by application of the ionophore monensin, or by replacement of external Na+ with either N-methyl-D-glucamine or lithium. In Na+-containing saline, [Ca2+](i) fell to control levels after [K+](o) was restored to control levels. 2. In the second set of experiments, we assessed Na+-Ca2+ exchanger-like immunoreactivity in goldfish retinal ganglion cells with the use of a polyclonal antiserum directed against Na+- Ca2+,K+ exchanger purified from bovine rod outer segments. This antiserum specifically stained the somata, neurites, and growth cones of isolated ganglion cells, the outer segments of rod photoreceptors, and (on Western blots prepared from mechanically isolated rods) protein displaying an apparent molecular mass of 210 kDa. 3. These results provide measurements of changes in [Ca2+](i) of retinal ganglion cells depolarized in Na+- containing saline, and the distribution and apparent molecular weight of Na+-Ca2+ exchanger-like immunoreactivity in teleost retina. These results are the first demonstration that retinal ganglion cells possess mechanisms for buffering intracellular Ca2+ consistent with Na+-Ca2+ exchange.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Neurophysiology|
|State||Published - 1994|
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