Scotopic visual signaling in the mouse retina is modulated by high-affinity plasma membrane calcium extrusion.

Jacque L. Duncan*, Haidong Yang, Thuy Doan, Robert S. Silverstein, Gabe J. Murphy, George Nune, Xiaorong Liu, David Copenhagen, Bruce L. Tempel, Fred Rieke, David Krizaj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Transmission of visual signals at the first retinal synapse is associated with changes in calcium concentration in photoreceptors and bipolar cells. We investigated how loss of plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase isoform 2 (PMCA2), the calcium transporter isoform with the highest affinity for Ca2+/calmodulin, affects transmission of rod- and cone-mediated responses. PMCA2 expression in the neuroblast layer was observed soon after birth; in the adult, PMCA2 was expressed in inner segments and synaptic terminals of rod photoreceptors, in rod bipolar cells, and in most inner retinal neurons but was absent from cones. To determine the role of PMCA2 in retinal signaling, we compared morphology and light responses of retinas from control mice and deafwaddler dfw2J mice, which lack functional PMCA2 protein. The cytoarchitecture of retinas from control and dfw2J mice was indistinguishable at the light microscope level. Suction electrode recordings revealed no difference in the sensitivity or amplitude of outer segment light responses of control and dfw2J rods. However, rod-mediated ERG b-wave responses in dfw2J mice were approximately 45% smaller and significantly slower than those of control mice. Furthermore, recordings from individual rod bipolar cells showed that the sensitivity of transmission at the rod output synapse was reduced by approximately 50%. No changes in the amplitude or timing of cone-mediated ERG responses were observed. These results suggest that PMCA2-mediated Ca2+ extrusion modulates the amplitude and timing of the high-sensitivity rod pathway to a much greater extent than that of the cone pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7201-7211
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 5 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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