Light sensitivity in a vertebrate mechanoreceptor?
Baker GE., de Grip WJ., Turton M., Wagner HJ., Foster RG., Douglas RH.
Using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis, we demonstrate that melanopsin is localised in cells around the central pore of lateral line neuromasts in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Since melanopsin is a known photoreceptor pigment with diverse functions in vertebrates, we suggest that the lateral line of Xenopus laevis, which is primarily a mechanoreceptor, might also be light sensitive. Potential functions of such photosensitivity are discussed, including its role in mediating locomotor responses following dermal illumination.