Reconstruction of photoreceptor membrane potentials from simultaneous intracellular and extracellular recordings

Abstract

INSERTING a microelectrode into a cell to record electrical events provides a rapid and direct way of investigating many fundamental membrane-based processes1,2. The intracellular signals so obtained do not, however, represent a true picture of the underlying permeability changes if significantly large extracellular potentials are also present. As this is indeed the case in a wide range of tissues, including the cephalopod retina, we have recorded simultaneously the intracellular (Vi) and extracellular (Ve) signals from the photoreceptors of Sepiola atlantica in order to reconstruct the true transmembrane potential (Vm). We show here that the discrepancies between Vi and Vm depend both on the magnitude and duration of the light stimulus.

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PYNSENT, P., DUNCAN, G. Reconstruction of photoreceptor membrane potentials from simultaneous intracellular and extracellular recordings. Nature 269, 257–259 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/269257a0

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