XB-ART-41860Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A August 24, 2010; 107 (34): 15264-8.
It has been known for many decades that nonmammalian vertebrates detect light by deep brain photoreceptors that lie outside the retina and pineal organ to regulate seasonal cycle of reproduction. However, the identity of these photoreceptors has so far remained unclear. Here we report that Opsin 5 is a deep brain photoreceptive molecule in the quail brain. Expression analysis of members of the opsin superfamily identified as Opsin 5 (OPN5; also known as Gpr136, Neuropsin, PGR12, and TMEM13) mRNA in the paraventricular organ (PVO), an area long believed to be capable of phototransduction. Immunohistochemistry identified Opsin 5 in neurons that contact the cerebrospinal fluid in the PVO, as well as fibers extending to the external zone of the median eminence adjacent to the pars tuberalis of the pituitary gland, which translates photoperiodic information into neuroendocrine responses. Heterologous expression of Opsin 5 in Xenopus oocytes resulted in light-dependent activation of membrane currents, the action spectrum of which showed peak sensitivity (lambda(max)) at approximately 420 nm. We also found that short-wavelength light, i.e., between UV-B and blue light, induced photoperiodic responses in eye-patched, pinealectomized quail. Thus, Opsin 5 appears to be one of the deep brain photoreceptive molecules that regulates seasonal reproduction in birds.
PubMed ID: 20679218
PMC ID: PMC2930557
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: opn5 opn8 ptch1
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