Norbert Babai

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In vision, balance and hearing, sensory receptor cells translate sensory stimuli into electrical signals whose amplitude is graded with stimulus intensity. The output synapses of these sensory neurons must provide fast signaling to follow rapidly changing stimuli while also transmitting graded information covering a wide range of stimulus intensity and must(More)
Structural features of neurons create challenges for effective production and distribution of essential metabolic energy. We investigated how metabolic energy is distributed between cellular compartments in photoreceptors. In avascular retinas, aerobic production of energy occurs only in mitochondria that are located centrally within the photoreceptor. Our(More)
Theodore M. Bartoletti,* Skyler L. Jackman,* Norbert Babai, Aaron J. Mercer, Richard H. Kramer, and Wallace B. Thoreson Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska; Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston,(More)
We tested whether horizontal cells (HCs) provide feedback that regulates the Ca(2+) current (I(Ca)) of rods in salamander and mouse retinas. In both species, hyperpolarizing HCs by puffing a glutamate antagonist, 6,7-dinitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX), onto HC processes caused a negative shift in the voltage dependence of rod I(Ca) and increased its peak(More)
Cone light responses are transmitted to postsynaptic neurons by changes in the rate of synaptic vesicle release. Vesicle pool size at the cone synapse constrains the amount of release and can thus shape contrast detection. We measured the number of vesicles in the rapidly releasable and reserve pools at cone ribbon synapses by performing simultaneous whole(More)
Cones release glutamate-filled vesicles continuously in darkness, and changing illumination modulates this release. Because sustained release in darkness is governed by vesicle replenishment rates, we analyzed how cone membrane potential regulates replenishment. Synaptic release from cones was measured by recording postsynaptic currents in Ambystoma(More)
We tested whether calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) contributes to synaptic release from rods in mammalian retina. Electron micrographs and immunofluorescent double labeling for the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA2) and synaptic ribbon protein, ribeye, showed a close association between ER and synaptic ribbons in mouse rod terminals.(More)
Cone photoreceptors and horizontal cells (HCs) have a reciprocal synapse that underlies lateral inhibition and establishes the antagonistic center-surround organization of the visual system. Cones transmit to HCs through an excitatory synapse and HCs feed back to cones through an inhibitory synapse. Here we report that HCs also transmit to cone terminals a(More)
Retinal prosthetic devices are being developed to bypass degenerated retinal photoreceptors by directly activating retinal neurons with electrical stimulation. However, the retinal circuitry that is activated by epiretinal stimulation is not well characterized. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from ganglion cells in normal and rd mice using(More)
Ca(2+)-dependent transmitter release occurs in a fast and in a slow phase, but the differential roles of Ca(2+) buffers and Ca(2+) sensors in shaping release kinetics are still controversial. Replacing extracellular Ca(2+) by Sr(2+) causes decreased fast release but enhanced slow release at many synapses. Here, we established presynaptic Sr(2+) uncaging and(More)