As a test of the hypothesis that cyclic nucleotides play a role in the regulation of retinomotor movements and disc shedding in the photoreceptor-pigment epithelial complex, we have used an in vitro eyecup preparation that sustains both disc shedding and cone retinomotor movements, Eyecups were prepared in white light from animals in which both shedding and cone movement had been blocked by 4 d of constant-light treatment. In eyecups incubated for 3 h in light, disc shedding was negligible and cones remained in the light-adapted (contracted) position. In eyecups incubated in darkness, however, a massive shedding response (dominated by rod photoreceptors) was induced, and at the same time cone photoreceptors elongated to their dark-adapted position. In eyecups incubated in light dbcAMP promoted cone elongation and thus mimicked darkness; the dbcAMP effect was potentiated by the phosphodiesterase inhibitors papaverine and 3-isobutylmethylxanthine. In eyecups incubated in darkness, on the other hand, both phosphodiesterase inhibitors and dbcAMP reduced the phagosome content of the pigment epithelium. The effects of dbcAMP on the cone elongation and rod shedding appear to be specific in that dbcGMP, adenosine, and adenosine 5'-monophosphate had no significant effect. Our results suggest that cAMP plays a role in the regulation of both retinomotor movements and disc shedding.

This content is only available as a PDF.