Effect of ions on the light-sensitive current in retinal rods

K. W. Yau, P. A. McNaughton, A. L. Hodgkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The effect of ions on the light-sensitive current of retinal rods was studied by sucking the inner segment into a tightly fitting capillary with the outer segment projecting into a flowing solution. This new method showed that the light-sensitive pathway, in which Na+ is them normal carrier of current, has an ionic selectivity different from that of other known sodium channels. External calcium has a striking effect on the current, which increased about 20-fold when all calcium was removed. Reducing the sodium concentration gradient greatly prolonged the response to a flash of light, as would be expected if internal calcium blocks sodium channels and if light releases calcium which is subsequently extruded by a sodium-calcium exchange mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-505
Number of pages4
Issue number5823
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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