Opsin-like immunoreactivity in the circadian pacemaker neurons and photoreceptors of the eye of the opisthobranch mollusc Bulla gouldiana.
Geusz ME., Foster RG., DeGrip WJ., Block GD.
Circadian pacemaker cells in the eyes of the opisthobranch mollusc Bulla gouldiana generate a near 24-h rhythm in the frequency of optic nerve impulses. Previous electrophysiological studies suggest that these basal retinal neurons are intrinsically photosensitive and transduce light signals that shift the phase of their pacemaker mechanism. To test whether the pacemaker neurons contain opsin-like proteins, several polyclonal antibodies that recognize opsins of vertebrate photoreceptors have been tested on histological sections of the eye and on the neurons in primary cell culture. The antibodies label both the pacemaker cells and the large distal photoreceptors that surround the lens. Immunoblot analyses of the proteins of the eye have identified a single band at 62+/-4 kDa. These opsin antibodies may label the photopigment used in the entrainment of the circadian pacemaker.