Carotenoid replacement therapy in Drosophila: recovery of membrane, opsin and visual pigment

Exp Eye Res. 1991 Jul;53(1):73-9. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(91)90147-7.


Rhabdomeres are substantially smaller and visual pigment is nearly eliminated when Drosophila are carotenoid-deprived from egg to adult. Rhabdomeres enlarge and visual pigment increases with carotenoid replacement in adults using carrot juice. We used a monoclonal antibody to the opsin in R1-6 receptors in the compound eye to further quantify opsin recovery in such carotenoid replacement therapy. Density of immunogold, specific to R1-6 (vs. R7), increases between days 1 and 3 of replacement as visual pigment and rhabdomeres recover. In summary, visual pigment, opsin and the opsin-containing organelle recover during carotenoid replacement therapy in carotenoid-deprived Drosophila.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotenoids / deficiency*
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Eye Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Photoreceptor Cells / chemistry
  • Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Pigments / analysis
  • Rod Opsins
  • Time Factors


  • Eye Proteins
  • Retinal Pigments
  • Rod Opsins
  • Carotenoids