British journal of pharmacology

Effect of sulphur containing amino acids on [3H]-acetylcholine release from amacrine cells of the rabbit retina.

PMID 1628143


1. The effects of the sulphur containing amino acids, homocysteic acid, homocysteine sulphinic acid, cysteic acid and cysteine sulphinic acid on the release of [3H]-acetylcholine ([3H]-ACh) from the cholinergic amacrine cells of the rabbit retina were examined. 2. All the compounds stimulated the spontaneous resting release and abolished the light-evoked release of [3H]-ACh. Except for homocysteine sulphinic acid these actions occurred at concentrations that did not affect the erg b-wave amplitude, indicating a site of action at the inner retina. 3. N-methyl-D-aspartate (in Mg(2+)-containing medium) clearly blocked the effects of homocysteic acid and homocysteine sulphinic acid on the resting release of [3H]-ACh but had no effect on the actions of cysteic acid and cysteine sulphinic acid. 4. Since N-methyl-D-aspartate is an antagonist of the light-evoked endogenous bipolar cell transmitter released onto cholinergic cells, these results are consistent with the suggestion that homocysteic acid or homocysteine sulphinic acid may be a transmitter released from this subpopulation of bipolar cells. 5. The present experiments indicate the existence of excitatory amino acids that have closer pharmacological properties to a bipolar cell transmitter than glutamate but it remains to be seen whether homocysteic acid or homocysteine sulphinic acid occur in these particular bipolar cells.