Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 278, Issue 3, pp 419–432 | Cite as

The role of actin filaments in the organization of the endoplasmic reticulum in honeybee photoreceptor cells

  • Otto Baumann
  • Birgit Lautenschläger


Close to the bases of the photoreceptive microvilli, arthropod photoreceptors contain a dense network of endoplasmic reticulum that is involved in the regulation of the intracellular calcium concentration, and in the biogenesis of the photoreceptive membrane. Here, we examine the role of the cytoskeleton in organizing this submicrovillar endoplasmic reticulum in honeybee photoreceptors. Immunofluorescence microscopy of taxol-stabilized specimens, and electron-microscopic examination of high-pressure frozen, freeze-substituted retinae demonstrate that the submicrovillar cytoplasm lacks microtubules. The submicrovillar region contains a conspicuous F-actin system that codistributes with the submicrovillar endoplasmic reticulum. Incubation of retinal tissue with cytochalasin B leads to depolymerization of the submicrovillar F-actin system, and to disorganization and disintegration of the submicrovillar endoplasmic reticulum, indicating that an intact F-actin cytoskeleton is required to maintain the architecture of this domain of the endoplasmic reticulum. We have also developed a permeabilized cell model in order to study the physiological requirements for the interaction of the endoplasmic reticulum with actin filaments. The association of submicrovillar endoplasmic reticulum with actin filaments appears to be independent of ATP, Ca2+ and Mg2+, suggesting a tight static anchorage.

Key words

Photoreceptor cells Endoplasmic reticulum, smooth Cytoskeleton Actin filaments Microtubules Polarity Calcium ions Apis mellifera (Insecta) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otto Baumann
    • 1
  • Birgit Lautenschläger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für ZoologieUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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