Potassium conductance block by barium in amphibian Müller cells

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The effect of barium on Müller cell K+ conductance was evaluated in the tiger salamander using enzymatically dissociated cells and cells in situ (retinal slice and isolated retina). Barium effects were similar in both cases. In dissociated cells, 50 μM Ba2+ depolarized cells 14.7 mV and raised cell input resistance from a control value of 16.0 to 133 MΩ. For cells in situ, 50 μM Ba2+ depolarized cells 6.9 mV and raised cell resistance from 12.5 to 50.4 MΩ. At corresponding Ba2+ concentrations, the resistance of cells in situ was somewhat lower than was the resistance of dissociated cells, a phenomenon that may be due to the small degree of electrical coupling present between Müller cells in situ. There was a similar positive correlation between the magnitude of Ba2+ -induced depolarization and input resistance in both dissociated cells and in situ cells. The magnitude of depolarizations generated by localized K+ ejections onto Müller cells was reduced substantially by Ba2+. These observations indicate that Ba2+ is an effective K+ channel blocker in Müller cells in situ as well as in enzymatically dissociated cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-314
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank Janice I. Gepner and Anthony R. Ma-ranto for their helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant EY 04077.


  • Barium
  • Glial cell
  • Müller cell
  • Potassium conductance
  • Retina
  • Tiger salamander


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