Fluorescent Imaging of Ca2+ and intracellular recordings were used to assess Ca2+ increases and voltage responses during light presentations in Hermissenda B photoreceptors. Ca2+ levels increased and were sustained during a relatively long exposure to light. Repeated presentations of a brief light induced an elevation of intracellular Ca2+ that persisted throughout short interlight intervals, but which dissipated during long interlight intervals. In all instances, the magnitude of the intracellular Ca2+ signal was inversely related to the amplitude of the light-induced generator potential. Blocking of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels did not significantly affect the magnitude of the Ca2+ signal, suggesting that the intracellular Ca2+ response arises primarily from release from intracellular stores. These results indicate that Ca2+ plays an important role in the modulation of the voltage responses to light, acting to suppress the response during repetitive or prolonged stimulation.
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