Incorporation of [3H]inositol into phosphatidylinositol (Pl) in isolated rat retinas is enhanced by light and by the addition of cytidine to the incubation media. In retinas preincubated with [3H]inositol in dark, [3H]inositol was chased into Pl in light by addition of unlabeled cytidine and was chased out of Pl in light by addition of unlabeled cytidine plus inositol. Autoradiograms of retinas show a heavy density of silver grains over photoreceptor cell inner segments (with chase-in) and a loss of labeling (with chase-out). Exogenous cytidine and inositol were shown to enhance not only the turnover of Pl within photoreceptor cells but the synthesis of Pl as well; in media supplemented with these precursors, approximately 50% of [14C]glycerol and 25% of [32Pi]incorporated into lipid in light were associated with Pl. These results suggest that availability of both cytidine and inositol may play a role in the light-dependent changes in Pl metabolism within photoreceptor cells.

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