Simultaneous intracellular recordings were made from a bipolar cell and a horizontal cell in the carp retina. The properties of the bipolar cell were studied while injecting current into the horizontal cell. Hyperpolarization of horizontal cells, irrespective of their type, elicited a hyperpolarizing response in on-center bipolar cells and a depolarizing response in off-center bipolar cells. Analyses of the ionic mechanisms of bipolar cell responses revealed that depolarization of horizontal cells simulated and hyperpolarization opposed the effect of central illumination. The effect of polarization was exerted in such a manner that each type of horizontal cells modified the transmission from those photoreceptors from which they receive main inputs. In on-center bipolar cells, for example, the L-type horizontal cells receiving inputs mainly from red cones modified the cone-bipolar transmission accompanied by a conductance change of K+ and/or Cl- channels, and the intermediate horizontal cells receiving inputs from rods modified the rod-bipolar transmission accompanied by a conductance change of Na+ channels. In off-center bipolar cells, the effect of polarization of any type of horizontal cells was mediated mainly by conductance changes of Na+ channels. Feedback mechanisms from horizontal cells to photoreceptors could explain these results reasonably well.

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