Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 191, Issue 1, pp 75–84 | Cite as

Light dependence of oxygen consumption by blowfly eyes recorded with a magnetic diver balance

  • Tina Pangršič
  • Peter Stušek
  • Gregor Belušič
  • Gregor ZupančičEmail author
Original Paper


We measured the oxygen (O2) consumption of isolated blowfly eyes using a magnetic diver balance, a device for high-resolution volumetric O2 consumption measurements. The light-induced O2 consumption is at most three times the value of the dark consumption, which is 0.6 nl O2 s−1 eye−1, and is in good agreement with the estimates based on electrophysiological data. With longer stimuli the increase follows a double exponential time course. The respective time constants are approximately 2 and 20 s and show no dependence on light intensity, whereas the dependence of amplitudes can be fitted by a Hill equation. Decreasing the stimulus duration reveals that the peak in O2 consumption overshoots the time course induced by long stimuli. We suggest this may be a general feature of mitochondrial activation. The dependence of the O2 consumption peak on stimulus duration at high light intensity has a hump with stimulus durations of 10–20 ms, coinciding with the stimulus durations that start to induce the adaptation of the receptor potential.


Oxygen consumption Blowfly Photoreceptor Mitochondria Volumetric measurement 



Transient receptor potential


Transient receptor potential-like



The experiments comply with the “Principles of Animal Care”, publication No. 86-23, revised 1985, of the National Institute of Health, and also with the Animal Protection Law of Republic of Slovenia (Zakon o zaščiti živali, Uradni list RS, št. 98-4617/1999, p. 14645). Work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of the Republic of Slovenia (grant J1-1593, research program P0-0524-0481). We wish to thank Dr. R. Paulsen (University Karlsruhe, Germany) for supplying us with fresh batches of blowflies several times.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tina Pangršič
    • 1
  • Peter Stušek
    • 1
  • Gregor Belušič
    • 1
  • Gregor Zupančič
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Biotechnical Faculty, Department of BiologyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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