Localization of type I inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor in the outer segments of mammalian cones

Tian Li Wang, Peter Sterling, Noga Vardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Calcium enters the outer segment of a vertebrate photoreceptor through a cGMP-gated channel and is extruded via a Na/Ca, K exchanger. We have identified another element in mammalian cones that might help to control cytoplasmic calcium. Reverse transcription-PCR performed on isolated photoreceptors identified mRNA for the SII- splice variant of the type I receptor for inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3), and Western blots showed that the protein also is expressed in outer segments. Immunocytochemistry showed type I IP3 receptor to be abundant in red-sensitive and green- sensitive cones of the trichromatic monkey retina, but it was negative or weakly expressed in blue-sensitive cones and rods. Similarly, the green- sensitive cones expressed the receptor in dichromatic retina (cat, rabbit, and rat), but the blue-sensitive cones did not. Immunostain was localized to disk and plasma membranes on the cytoplasmic face. To restore sensitivity after a light flash, cytoplasmic cGMP must rise to its basal level, and this requires cytoplasmic calcium to fall. Cessation of calcium release via the IP3 receptor might accelerate this fall and thus explain why the cone recovers much faster than the rod. Furthermore, because its own activity of the IP3 receptor depends partly on cytoplasmic calcium, the receptor might control the set point of cytoplasmic calcium and thus affect cone sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4221-4228
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Ca
  • L cone
  • M cone
  • Monkey
  • Phospholipase C
  • Photoreceptor
  • S cone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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