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The embryonic pineal organ of lacerta vivipara part 1 differentiation of the cells of the sensory line the gradient of morphological differentiation

, : The embryonic pineal organ of lacerta vivipara part 1 differentiation of the cells of the sensory line the gradient of morphological differentiation. Journal of Neural Transmission 39(1-2): 139-174

During ontogenetic development, in the photoreceptor cells (P) secretory activity is not observed. From stage 38 on, the photoreceptive poles of these elements show a differentiation of disks while, from stage 37 on, their basal processes make synaptic contacts with dendritic outgrowths originating from intra-epithelial sensory nerve cells. The embryonic secretory rudimentary photoreceptor cells (SRP) are characterized by an intensive secretory activity. The photoreceptive poles of the SRP, like those of the P cells, show the differentiation of disks from stage 38 on. Only after birth, the outer segments of the SRP become rudimentary. Because of the absence of characteristic synaptic contacts between the basal processes of the SRP and dendrites of the sensory nerve cells the SRP probably become rudimentary where photoreceptivity is concerned. During the ontogenetic development of the pineal organ morphological signs pointing to regression of its photoreceptor function are not very marked. In showing a photoreceptive differentiation of the outer segments of the SRP, the present investigation agrees with previous phylogenetic studies and supports the concept of the presence of a sensory cell line in the vertebrate pineal organ.

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