Neuroscience research

Proton feedback mediates the cascade of color-opponent signals onto H3 horizontal cells in goldfish retina.

PMID 22326780


It has been postulated that horizontal cells (HCs) send feedback signals onto cones via a proton feedback mechanism, which generates the center-surround receptive field of bipolar cells, and color-opponent signals in many non-mammalian vertebrates. Here we used a strong pH buffer, HEPES, to reduce extracellular proton concentration changes and so determine whether protons mediate color-opponent signals in goldfish H3 (triphasic) HCs. Superfusion with 10mM HEPES-fortified saline elicited depolarization of H3 HCs' dark membrane potential and enhanced hyperpolarizing responses to blue stimuli, but suppressed both depolarization by yellow and orange and hyperpolarization by red stimuli. The response components suppressed by HEPES resembled the inverse of spectral responses of H2 (biphasic) HCs. These results are consistent with the Stell-Lightfoot cascade model, in which the HEPES-suppressed component of H3 HCs was calculated using light responses recorded experimentally in H1 (monophasic) and H2 HCs. Selective suppression of long- or long-+middle-wavelength cone signals by long-wavelength background enhanced the responses to short-wavelength stimuli. These results suggest that HEPES inhibited color opponent signals in H3 HCs, in which the source of opponent-color signals is primarily a feedback from H2 HCs and partly from H1 HCs onto short-wavelength cones, probably mediated by protons.