Diversity of opsin immunoreactivities in the extraretinal tissues of four anuran amphibians

Keiko Okano, Toshiyuki Okano, Tomoko Yoshikawa, Atsuko Masuda, Yoshitaka Fukada, Tadashi Oishi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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