Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 156, Issue 2, pp 213–222 | Cite as

An electron microprobe analysis of photoreceptors and outer pigment cells in the retina of the honeybee drone

  • J. A. Coles
  • R. Rick


Intracellular concentrations of elements were measured in the retina of the honeybee drone,Apis mellifera ♂ by electron microprobe X-ray analysis of frozen dried sections (Table 2). Before shock-freezing, slices of retina were superfused with Ringer solution, as in other work in which intracellular activities of Na+, K+ and Cl were measured with ion-selective microelectrodes. The results give no evidence for any binding or sequestering of these elements in the cells, with the possible exception of K in photoreceptors (Table 3). In the special case of Na in outer pigment cells,aNa and [Na] were measured in the same piece of tissue: Na was present at a high concentration (55 mmol/l) but, again, we calculate that it was all freely dissolved in the cell water.

It was estimated that the subrhabdomeric cisternae of the photoreceptors contained 2–3 mmol/l Ca; otherwise, their electrolyte composition was similar to that of the cytoplasm. [Na], [K] and [Cl] in the rhabdom were what would be expected if the spaces between the microvilli were filled with Ringer solution


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Coles
    • 1
  • R. Rick
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'ophtalmologie expérimentaleUniversité de GenèveGenève 4Switzerland
  2. 2.Physiologisches InstitutUniversität MünchenMünchen 2Federal Republic of Germany

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