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B S Winkler, V Simson, J Benner; Importance of bicarbonate in retinal function.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1977;16(8):766-768.
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This study demonstrates a requirement for bicarbonate in retinal function. Omission of bicarbonate, with either phosphate or Tris used to maintain a constant pH, leads to significant changes in both the electroretinogram potentials and metabolism of the isolated rat retina. Electroretinograms in bicarbonate-free media show a selective loss of the b wave and a decline in the amplitudes of the a wave and Slow PIII. Substitution of phosphate for bicarbonate causes a 60 and 52% decrease in aerobic and anaerobic lactate production, respectively, but this substitution leads to a 27% increase in aerobic retinal ATP content. It is suggested that the electrical effects of bicarbonate-free media are due to a decrease in utilization of ATP below critical levels at critical sites.
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