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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1993 May;231(5):289-94.

An immunohistochemical study of opsin in photoreceptor cells following light-induced retinal degeneration in the rat.

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Georgiana Dvorak Theobald Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine 60612.


Light-induced retinal degeneration has been hypothesized to be rhodopsin-mediated. However, the alterations induced in the opsin moiety of the rhodopsin molecule and its distribution in the rod cell after a photic insult have not been definitively established. We used light and electron immunohistochemistry to study the alterations in retinal opsin immunoreactivity in a rat model of retinal photic injury. In normal unexposed rat retinas, opsin immunoreactivity was restricted to the rod outer segments. At 6 h after a 24-h light exposure, opsin immunoreactivity was present in the rod outer segments in both the superior and inferior retina, but in addition marked immunoreactivity was present in the inner segments in the superior quadrant of the light-damaged retina. At 6 days after exposure, intense immunoreactivity was noted around the severely degenerating rod nuclei and inner segments. However, at 21 days following light exposure, opsin immunoreactivity in areas of recovery was again restricted to the short regenerated rod outer segments. It appears that, despite severe light-mediated retinal degeneration, anti-opsin immunoreactivity persisted in the photoreceptor cells but with an altered pattern in damaged rod outer segments and photoreceptor perikarya. However, opsin immunoreactivity relocated to the regenerated rod outer segments in the recovery phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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