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Mike Francke, Frank Faude, Thomas Pannicke, Andreas Bringmann, Peggy Eckstein, Winfried Reichelt, Peter Wiedemann, Andreas Reichenbach; Electrophysiology of Rabbit Müller (Glial) Cells in Experimental Retinal Detachment and PVR. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(5):1072-1079.
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purpose. To determine the electrophysiological properties of Müller
(glial) cells from experimentally detached rabbit retinas.
methods. A stable local retinal detachment was induced by subretinal injection
of a sodium hyaluronate solution. Müller cells were acutely
dissociated and studied by the whole-cell voltage-clamp technique.
results. The cell membranes of Müller cells from normal retinas were
dominated by a large inwardly rectifying potassium ion (K+)
conductance that caused a low-input resistance (<100 MΩ) and a high
resting membrane potential (−82 ± 6 mV). During the first week
after detachment, the Müller cells became reactive as shown by
glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity, and their
inward currents were markedly reduced, accompanied by an increased
input resistance (>200 MΩ). After 3 weeks of detachment, the input
resistance increased further (>300 MΩ), and some cells displayed
significantly depolarized membrane potentials (mean −69 ± 18
mV). When PVR developed (in 20% of the cases) the inward
K+ currents were virtually completely eliminated. The input
resistance increased dramatically (>1000 MΩ), and almost all cells
displayed strongly depolarized membrane potentials (−44 ± 16
conclusions. Reactive Müller cells are characterized by a severe reduction of
their K+ inward conductance, accompanied by depolarized
membrane potentials. These changes must impair physiological glial
functions, such as neurotransmitter recycling and K+ ion
clearance. Furthermore, the open probability of certain types of
voltage-dependent ion channels (e.g., Ca2+-dependent
K+ maxi channels) increases that may be a precondition for
Müller cell proliferation, particularly in PVR when a dramatic
downregulation of both inward current density and resting membrane
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