Actin has been localized in Rana pipiens retinas that were fixed and embedded in aldehyde cross-linked BSA. Thin sections were reacted sequentially with (a) affinity-purified antiactin antibodies induced in rabbits; (b) biotinyl-sheep anti-rabbit antibodies; and (c) avidin-ferritin conjugates. As expected, antiactin labeling density was high in the apical pigment epithelial cell processes and in the calycal processes of photoreceptors. Actin was also localized in a new site. The connecting cilium that joins the inner and outer segments of both rods and cones was heavily labeled by antiactin at its outer segment (OS), or distal, end. In this region of the cilium, the plasma membrane evaginates to form new OS disks and these basal disks were labeled in some instances. Below the new disks in rods, the cytoplasm of liplike expansions of the distal cilium was also heavily labeled. The plasma membrane and interior of the connecting cilium and the remainder of the OS were unlabeled. These findings suggest that actin may participate in the vectorial transport of opsin and other intrinsic membrane proteins that are incorporated into newly forming OS disks. The results also implicate actin in the membrane expansion involved with OS disk formation.

This content is only available as a PDF.