Differentiation of pinopsin-immunoreactive cells in the developing quail pineal organ: An in-vivo and in-vitro immunohistochemical study

Mikaru Yamao, Masasuke Araki, Toshiyuki Okano, Yoshitaka Fukada, Tadashi Oishi

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The avian pineal organ contains several types of photoreceptors with different photopigments: rhodopsin, iodopsin, and pinopsin. We have previously examined the differentiation of both rhodopsin-like and iodopsin-like immunoreactive cells during pineal development in quail embryos to determine the onset of synthesis of specific proteins and their cellular localization. In the present study, we have performed pinopsin immunohistochemistry on in-vivo developing and in-vitro cultured pineal organs of quail embryos. The results were corn pared with those obtained with rhodopsin and iodopsin immunohistochemistry. In the developing pineal organs, pinopsin immunoreactivity was detected at embryonic day 8, i.e. five days earlier than rhodopsin-like and iodopsin-like immunoreactivities. It was localized exclusively in the protrusions extending into the lumen throughout development, whereas rhodopsin-like and iodopsin-like immunoreactivities were usually found both in cell bodies and processes. These differences were also observed under two different types of culture conditions (dissociated cell culture and organ culture) indicating that, in the avian pineal organ, the expression pattern of the pinopsin gene is basically different from those of the other two pineal photopigments. The present study suggests that pineal cells have a mechanism for the polarized transport of pinopsin molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-671
Number of pages5
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • Avian pineal organ
  • Cell differentiation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Pinopsin
  • Quail embryo
  • Tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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