Reports

Topology of the Outer Segment Membranes of Retinal Rods and Cones Revealed by a Fluorescent Probe

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Science  27 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4157, pp. 1176-1179
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4157.1176

Abstract

When N,N'-didansyl cystine binds to the cell membranes of vertebrate rods and cones its fluorescence efficiency increases about 20-fold. The entire outer segments of living cones become brilliantly fluorescent. Stained live rods, as well as most freshly detached outer segments, are only weakly fluorescent, but they become brightly fluorescent within a few seconds if their plasma membranes are osmotically ruptured. The difference in staining of rod and cones suggests that disk membranes of rods are not continuous with the plasma membranes are osmotically ruptured. The difference in staining of rod and cones plasma membrane on outer segments of photoreceptors in electrophysiological and biochemical experiments, and to study the infolding pattern of rod and cone disks.