The distribution of the visual pigment protein opsin in postnatal day 8 and adult rat retinal photoreceptor cells was studied using several well characterized monoclonal antibodies against rhodopsin and a sensitive, modified colloidal gold technique. Distribution of opsin was studied in intact tissue, explant cultures and freshly dissociated cell preparation. At PN8 labeling was seen in the plasma membrane overlying the cell body, inner and outer segment. Adult retinas still showed heavy labeling of the cell body and outer segment, but reduced labeling of the inner segment surface. Semi-quantitative estimates of colloidal gold particles bound indicated a ratio of 3-20 times more particles per unit length in the outer vs. the inner segment, depending on tissue age, preparation and antibody. Together with the subcellular localization of other photoreceptor plasma membrane proteins, these data reveal a complex system of membrane domains into which different protein components are segregated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience