Ultrastructural evidence for the presence of secretory cells in the pineal parenchyma ofHeteropneustes fossilis
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There is an extensive literature dealing with the study of indoles, especially serotonin and melatonin, but with considerably less emphasis on the cells and cell types involved in the synthetic process. In the present electron microscopical investigation of the pineal end vesicle ofHeteropneustes fossilis, pinealocytes have been revealed in the pineal parenchyma characterized with extensive synthetic apparatus viz., rough endoplasmic reticulum, free ribosomes, lipid droplets, mitochondria and Golgi bodies. Two sub-populations of the pinealocytes are easily distinguishable on the basis of electron opacity and the preponderance of one or other morphological profile: light cells and dark cells. Light cells represent the active phase of secretion while dark cells represent the storage and release phase of secretion. A neuroendocrine role for the pineal body inHeteropneustes fossilis is suggested which may be significant in view of the nocturnal habit of the fish.
KeywordsPineal pinealocytes secretory activity light cells dark cells
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