Immunoreactive opsin in the pineal organ of reptiles and birds

B. Vigh, I. Vigh-Teichmann, P. Rohlich, B. Aros

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The presence of opsin was investigated with light microscopic immunocytochemistry in pinealocytes of reptiles and birds (Emys orbicularis, Pseudemys scripta elegans, Lacerta agilis et viridis, Gallus domesticus, Columba livia, Melopsittacus undulatus, Serinus canaria, Taeniopyga punctata). The outer segments of pinealocytes selectively bound antiopsin antibody as revealed by indirect immunocytochemical techniques, indicating the occurrence of a rhodopsin-like photopigment in these structures. The results were compared with those obtained in retinal photoreceptors of the same species as well as in the pineal organ of fishes and amphibians (Cyprinus carpio, Carassius auratus, Rana esculenta). Corresponding to immunoreactive structures seen in the light microsocope, we found typical outer segments on a large number of pinealocytes in most of the reptiles and birds studied. The presence of opsin in the numerous well developed pineal outer segments of these reptilian and avian species contradicts the earlier hypothesis on the gradual regression of pineal light sensitive structures in the avian line of evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
JournalZeitschrift fur Mikroskopisch-Anatomische Forschung - Abteilung 2
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

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