The pineal complex, deep brain, and skin have been known to function as extraretinal photoreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates. To see the diversity of localization of extraretinal photoreceptors in lower vertebrates having different habitats, we analyzed the opsin-like immunoreactivities in anuran amphibians, Xenopus laevis, Rana catesbeiana, Rana nigromaculata, and Bufo japonicus. An antiserum (toad Rh-AS) was raised against rhodopsin purified from the retinas of Japanese toad, B. japonicus. In the retina of all the anurans examined, the outer segments of rods were immunopositive to toad Rh-AS. The outer segments of most pinealocytes were immunopositive in R. catesbeiana, R. nigromaculata, and B. japonicus. The outer segments of photoreceptor-like cells within the frontal organ of R. nigromaculata were immunostained. Interestingly, toad Rh-AS immunostained many secretory cells of mucous glands in the head skin of B. japonicus, implying the presence of a novel photoreceptive molecule. Within the hypothalamus, toad Rh-AS immunostained many cells in the magnocellular preoptic nucleus of R. catesbeiana and B. japonicus. Toad Rh-AS also labeled cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-contacting cells in the anterior preoptic nucleus of R. nigromaculata and those adjacent to the lateral ventricle within the septum of R. catesbeiana. Thus the distribution patterns of the rhodopsin-like immunoreactivities among the anurans were highly diverged, and there was no relationship between the distribution patterns and their habitats.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Zoology|
|Publication status||Published - 2000 Feb 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology