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Electrophysiological Properties of Cells in the Median Ocellus of Limulus

By John Nolte and Joel E. Brown


Two types of photoreceptors are found in the median ocellus of Limulus. One type is maximally sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, the other to green light; they are called UV and VIS cells, respectively. Biphasic receptor potentials, consisting of a small initial hyperpolarizing phase and a later slow depolarizing phase, can be recorded from both receptor types. These biphasic responses are elicited in UV cells in response to long-wavelength light, and in VIS cells in response to ultraviolet light. Another type of hyperpolarizing response can be recorded in UV cells: after a bright ultraviolet stimulus, the cell remains depolarized; long-wavelength light rapidly returns the membrane potential to its value preceding ultraviolet illumination (this long-wavelength-induced potential change is called a "repolarizing response"). Also, a long-wavelength stimulus superimposed during a UV stimulus elicits a sustained repolarizing response. A third cell type (arhabdomeric cell) found in the median ocellus generates large action potentials and is maximally sensitive to UV light. Biphasic responses and repolarizing responses also can be recorded from arhabdomeric cells. The retina is divided into groups of cells; both UV cells and VIS cells can occur in the same group. UV cells in the same group are electrically coupled to one another and to an arhabdomeric cell

Topics: Article
Publisher: The Rockefeller University Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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