Aequorin, which luminesces in the presence of calcium, was injected into photoreceptor cells of Limulus ventral eye. A bright light stimulus elicited a large increase in aequorin luminescence, the aequorin response, indicating a rise of intracellular calcium ion concentration, Cai. The aequorin response reached a maximum after the peak of the electrical response of the photoreceptor, decayed during a prolonged stimulus, and returned to an undetectable level in the dark. Reduction of Cao reduced the amplitude of the aequorin response by a factor no greater than 3. Raising Cao increased the amplitude of the aequorin response. The aequorin response became smaller when membrane voltage was clamped to successively more positive values. These results indicate that the stimulus-induced rise of Cai may be due in part to a light-induced influx of Ca and in part to release of Ca from an intracellular store. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a rise in Cai is a step in the sequence of events underlying light-adaptation in Limulus ventral photoreceptors. Aequorin was also injected into photoreceptors of Balanus. The aequorin responses were similar to those recorded from Limulus cells in all but two ways: (a) A large sustained aequorin luminescence was measured during a prolonged stimulus, and (b) removal of extracellular calcium reduced the aequorin response to an undetectable level.

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