The pineal organ and retina were compared in developing charr and cisco, further in adult cisco, eel, creek chub, dace, zebrafish and black moli by opsin immunocytochemistry. In prehatching charr embryos, retinal rods and cones and pinealocytes displayed well-developed outer segments and formed synapses. Differentiation of the retina started centrally but was more advanced in the dorso-caudal retina than rostroventrally. The pineal organ differentiated earlier distally than proximally. In the cisco, the pineal organ and retina differentiated around hatching. In charr embryos, further in the larval and adult species studied, opsin immunoreactivity was found in retinal rods, accessory cones and many “rod-like” pinealocytes, a result indicating the presence of rhodopsin and/or porphyropsin. Retinal principle cones, long and short cones and some “cone-like” pinealocytes were opsin-immunonegative; they are thought to represent red-and/or u.v./violet-sensitive elements. The pineal organ may be involved in negative phototaxic behavior. Both the retina and pineal organ appear to be suitably differentiated to detect light in the larval and embryonic charr.
ASJC Scopus subject areas