The distribution of opsin was examined immunocytochemically after experimental retinal detachment in adult cats. Retinal detachments were produced by injecting fluid between the retinal pigment epithelium and neural retina. One to 60 days later the animals were killed. Tissue areas from detached and attached retinal regions from the eye with the detached retina, as well as normal (control) retinas, were processed for post-embedding light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. In normal and attached retinal regions, anti-opsin labeled the outer segments and Golgi apparatus most heavily, although the entire photoreceptor plasma membrane was labeled at a low level. Beginning at 2 days after retinal detachment, immunolabeling increased in the photoreceptor inner segment, cell body and synaptic terminal plasma membranes. This pattern of anti-opsin labeling continued at all intervals up through the 60-day detachment time-point. Injection of radiolabeled amino acid in detachments from 1 to 30 days show that radiolabeled protein is still transported to the truncated outer segments of the photoreceptor cells. In addition, these outer segment disks label with anti-opsin. These data imply that opsin continues to be transported and incorporated into the outer segments of photoreceptors showing severe degeneration as a result of long-term detachment from the RPE.