Biophysics of structure and mechanism

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 213–230 | Cite as

On the rise time of the R1-component of the “Early receptor potential...: Evidence for a fast light-induced charge separation in rhodopsin

  • H. -W. Trissl


The rising phase of the R1-component of the early receptor potential from isolated cattle retinas was measured with high time resolution. When the measuring capacitance was 133 pF, a latency of about 200 ns was observed. A rise time of about 0.8 Μs at 0‡ C and 1.6 Μs at 37‡ C (extrapolated to ideal measuring conditions) was found. The negative temperature dependence indicates that the rise is not directly related to the production and decay of photolysis products of rhodopsin since the latter have positive temperature coefficients. An increase of the external measuring capacitance caused a slower rise time. The analysis of this effect allowed the determination of the source impedance of the R1-component. The experimental results can be described with a model in which it is assumed that a fast charge separation (ns or ps) takes place in the outer segment of a photoreceptor cell, and spreads passively to the inner segment via the resistance of the interconnecting cilium. The “inner” relaxation could be circumvented by using isolated rod outer segments which lack the passive inner segments, i.e., a rise time of 90 ns could be measured when isolated rod outer segments were attached to Millipore filters. The results suggest that the molecular event leading to the R1-component is an early charge separation which may be as fast as the cis-trans isomerization of the retinal chromophore.

Key words

Early receptor potential Fast photovoltage Rhodopsin Charge separation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. -W. Trissl
    • 1
  1. 1.Schwerpunkt BiophysikUniversitÄt OsnabrückOsnabrückFederal Republic of Germany

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