The histology of the pineal gland

The histology of the pineal gland


1.It is an endocrine gland that regulates circadian rhythm and sleep patterns since it secretes melatonin.

2.It is also called pineal body or epiphysis cerebri.


1.It has a pinecone shape.

2.It is located in relation to the posterior wall of the 3rd ventricle of the brain.

3.It weighs about 150mg and measures about 5-8mm in length and 3-5mm in greatest width.

Connective tissue

It is covered by connective tissue of the pia mater,septa containing small blood vessels pass into it's interior subdividing to lobules.


1.It shows the presence of irregular masses mainly made up of calcium salts constituting of corporate arenacea or brain sand.

2.The pineal gland consists of cells called pinealocytes separated from one another by neuroglial cells.

3.The pinealocytes secretes melatonin and it's precursor serotonin.

4.Melatonin release is inhibited by exposure of animal to light.Hence,the gland is more active in darkness.

Cell Components

1.Each cell has a polyhedral body containing irregular nucleus.

2.The cell body gives off elongated processes with terminal buds that end in relation to the 3rd ventricle's ependyma and capillary wall.

3.The cell bodies contain organelles, numerous mitochondria,canaliculated lamellar bodies,developed Golgi complex smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum..

4.There is presence of neurotransmitter.


1.Production of melatonin and it's serotonin.

2.The pineal gland acts as a form of biological clock which may produce circadian rhythms.

3.Hormones produced by the gland influence the activities of other gland



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The pineal gland is otherwise called -------