K+-dependent Müller cell-generated components of the electroretinogram

Andrey V. Dmitriev, Alexander A. Dmitriev, Robert A. Linsenmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The electroretinogram (ERG) has been employed for years to collect information about retinal function and pathology. The usefulness of this noninvasive test depends on our understanding of the cell sources that generate the ERG. Important contributors to the ERG are glial Müller cells (MCs), which are capable of generating substantial transretinal potentials in response to light-induced changes in extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o). For instance, the MCs generate the slow PIII (sPIII) component of the ERG as a reaction to a photoreceptor-induced [K+]o decrease in the subretinal space. Similarly, an increase of [K+]o related to activity of postreceptor retinal neurons also produces transretinal glial currents, which can potentially influence the amplitude and shape of the b-wave, one of the most frequently analyzed ERG components. Although it is well documented that the majority of the b-wave originates from On-bipolar cells, some contribution from MCs was suggested many years ago and has never been experimentally rejected. In this work, detailed information about light-evoked [K+]o changes in the isolated mouse retina was collected and then analyzed with a relatively simple linear electrical model of MCs. The results demonstrate that the cornea-positive potential generated by MCs is too small to contribute noticeably to the b-wave. The analysis also explains why MCs produce the large cornea-negative sPIII subcomponent of the ERG, but no substantial cornea-positive potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E010
JournalVisual Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 23 2021


  • K+-selective microelectrodes
  • Müller cells
  • computer simulation
  • electroretinogram
  • retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology


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