Isolated photophores of Porichthys notatus, maintained in saline at 20 degrees C, do not luminesce and show an oxygen consumption rate of 0.07 +/− 0.01 nmol min-1 photophore-1. In the presence of 10(−6) M-KCN, the photophores do not luminesce but the resting respiration decreases by about 50%. In the presence of 10(−5) M-KCN, some photophores do not luminesce and their respiration rate decreases by about 75%. Others show a response and resting oxygen consumption slowly increases. At high concentration (10(−4) and 10(−3)M), KCN induces a large light emission and increase in oxygen consumption. The stimulatory effect of KCN on the photophore oxygen consumption is tentatively explained by an activation of the luciferin-luciferase system by calcium ions.

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