- Light- or dark-adapted goldfish (Carassius auratus) retinas were treated with dopamine, which is believed to uncouple horizontal cells via D1 receptors, or with the dopamine antagonist haloperidol. Aldehyde-fixed retinas were freeze-fractured and the replicas examined by electron microscopy to identify horizontal gap junctions. The density (number per micron2) of intra-membrane particles of horizontal cell soma gap junctions was significantly lower in light-adapted and dopamine-treated retinas than in dark-adapted and haloperidol-treated retinas. There was no statistically significant difference between gap junction particles densities in (I) light-adapted (untreated) and in dopamine-treated (light- or dark-adapted) retinas, or between (II) dark-adapted (untreated) and haloperidol-treated (light- or dark-adapted). These results suggest that the uncoupling of horizontal cell somas by dopamine is accompanied by a decrease in gap junction particle density and that there is a greater release of dopamine during light-adaptation than dark-adaptation. Unlike horizontal cell somas, horizontal cell axon terminals did not show consistent changes in gap junction particle density with light- or dark-adaptation. Although the data suggests that there may be a reduction in axon terminal gap junction particle density with dopamine treatment, this effect is not reversible with haloperidol treatment. Our results suggest that the regulation of gap junctions may differ at two sites within the same cell.