Perspectives of Comparative Anatomy of the Mammalian Pineal Gland

  • Lutz Vollrath
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 65)


As the precise role of the pineal gland has been established in a few mammalian species only, every effort should be made to elucidate the function of this potentially important neuroendocrine organ in as many species as possible. One way in which the morphologist can contribute to reach this goal is to carry out comparative studies. Comparative anatomical studies with respect to the pineal gland can be, and should be, carried out at different structural levels: (a) At the gross anatomical level; (b) at the tissue level; (c) at the cellular level, and (d) at the level of cell organelles.


Pineal Gland Comparative Anatomy Pineal Organ Central Innervation Topographical Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arstila, A. U., Electron microscopic studies on the structure and histochemistry of the pineal gland of the rat. Neuroendocrinology, 2 Suppl.: 1 (1967)Google Scholar
  2. Bergmann, W., 1943, Die Epiphysis cerebri. In: Hdb. mikrosk. Anat. Mensch. W. v. Möllendorff, ed., Springer, Berlin. VI,4: 309Google Scholar
  3. Bucana, C. D., Nadakavukaren, M. J. and Frehn, J. L., 1974, Novel features of hamster pinealocyte ultrastructure. Tissue Cell 6: 85PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clabough, J. W., 1971, Ultrastructural features of the pineal gland in normal and light deprived golden hamsters. Z. Zellforsch 114: 151.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boeckmann, D., 1980, Morphological investigation of the deep pineal of the rat. Cell Tiss. Res. 210: 283.Google Scholar
  6. Buijs, R. M. and Pévet, P., 1980, Vasopressin-and oxytocincontaining fibres in the pineal gland and subcommissural organ of the rat. Cell Tiss. Res. 205: 11.Google Scholar
  7. Gardner, J. H., 1953, Innervation of pineal gland in hooded rat. J. comp. Neurol. 99: 319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gregorek, J. C., Seibel, H. R. and Reiter, R. J., 1977, The pineal complex and its relationship to other epithalamic structures. Acta Anat. 99: 425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hewing, M., 1981, Topographical relationships of synaptic ribbons in the pineal system of the vole (Microtus agrestis). Anat. Embryol. 162: 313.Google Scholar
  10. Hofer, H. O., Merker, G. and Oksche, A., 1976, Atypische Formen des Pinealorgans der Säugetiere. Verhandl. Anat. Ges. 70: 97.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson, J. I. Jr., 1977, Central Nervous System of Marsupials. In: The Biology of Marsupials.Google Scholar
  12. D. Hunsaker II, ed., Academic Press, New York, San Francisco, London, 157.Google Scholar
  13. Jung, D. and Vollrath, L., 1982, Structural dissimilarities in different regions of the pineal gland of Pirbright White guinea-pigs. J. Neural Transmiss.(in press).Google Scholar
  14. Karasek, M., King, T. S., Brokaw, J., Hansen, J. T., Petterborg, L.J. and Reiter, R. J., 1982a, Inverse correlation between “synaptic” ribbon number and the density of adrenergic nerve endings in the pineal gland of various mammals. J. Comp. Neurol. (in press)Google Scholar
  15. Karasek, M., King, T. S., Petterborg, L. J., Hansen, J. T.Google Scholar
  16. Bartke, A. and Reiter, R. J., 1982b, Dense-core vesicles in the mammalian pinealocyte and their relation to secretory processes. TSEM Journal 13: 13.Google Scholar
  17. Korf, H.-W. and M$ller, M., 1982, Zentrale Innervation der Epiphyse bei verschiedenen Säugetierarten. 77. Vers. Anat. Ges. 1982: 28.Google Scholar
  18. Korf, H.-W. and Wagner, U., 1980, Evidence for a nervous connection between the brain and the pineal organ in the guinea-pig. Cell Tiss. Res. 209: 505.Google Scholar
  19. Lang, K., 1959, Anatomische und histologische Untersuchungen der Epiphysis cerebri von Rind und Schaf. Thesis, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  20. Lin, H.-S., 1969, A special morphological expression of centriolar formation. Anat. Rec. 163: 313.Google Scholar
  21. Lin, H.-S., 1970, The fine structure and transformation of centrioles in the rat pinealocyte. Cytobios 2: 128.Google Scholar
  22. Lin, H.-S., 1972, Transformation of centrioles in pinealocytes of adult guinea-pigs. J. Neurocytol. 1: 61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lues, G., 1971, Die Feinstruktur der Zirbeldrüse normaler, trächtiger und experimentell beeinflußter Meerschweinchen. Z.Zellforsch. Mikrosk. Anat. 114: 38.Google Scholar
  24. Nürnberger, F., Korf, H.-W., 1981, Oxytocin-and vasopressinimmunoreactive nerve fibers in the pineal gland of the hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus L. Cell Tiss. Res. 220: 87.Google Scholar
  25. Oksche, A., 1965, Survey of the development and comparative morphology of the pineal organ. Progr. Brain Res. 10: 3.Google Scholar
  26. Pévet, P. and Kuyper, M.A., 1978, The ultrastructure of pinealocytes in the golden mole (Amblysomus hottentotus) with special reference to the granular vesicles. Cell Tiss. Res. 191: 39Google Scholar
  27. Pévet, P. and Yadav, M., 1980, The pineal gland of equatorial mammals. I. The pinealocytes of the Malaysian rat (Rattus sabanus). Cell Tiss. Res. 210: 417.Google Scholar
  28. Pévet, P., Ebels, I., Swaab, D. F., Mud, M. T. and Arimura, A., 1980, Presence of AVT-, a-MSH-, LHRH- and somatostatinlike compounds in the rat pineal gland and their relationship with the UM05R pineal fraction. An immunocytochemical study. Cell Tiss. Res. 206: 341.Google Scholar
  29. Quay, W. B., 1980a, Greater pineal volume at higher latitudes in rodentia: exponential relationship and its biological interpretation. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 41: 340.Google Scholar
  30. Quay, W. B., 1980b, Pineal volume and latitudinal and chronobiological characteristics: Comparison of five mammalian orders. Am. Zool. 20: 898.Google Scholar
  31. Quay, W. B., 1981, Pineal atrophy and other neuroendocrine and circumventricular features of the naked molerat, Heterocephalts glaber (Rappel), a fossorial, equatorial rodent. J. Neural Transm. 52: 107.Google Scholar
  32. Ralph, C. L., 1975, The pineal organ and geographical distribution of animals. Int. J. Biometeorol. 19: 289.Google Scholar
  33. Ralph, C. L., 1981, Melatonin production by extra-pineal tissue. In: Melatonin: Current Status and Perspectives.Google Scholar
  34. N. Birau, W. Schloot, eds., Pergamon Press, Oxford. Advances in the Biosciences 29: 35.Google Scholar
  35. Roux, M., Richoux, J. P. and Cordonnier, J. L., 1977, Influence de la photopériode sur l’ultrastructure de l’épiphyse avant et pendant la phase génitale saisonnière chez la femelle du lérot (Eliomys quercinus). J. Neural Transm. 41: 209.Google Scholar
  36. Schneider, T., Semm, P. and Vollrath, L., 1981, Ultrastructural observations on the central innervation of the guinea-pig pineal gland. Cell Tiss. Res. 220: 41Google Scholar
  37. Vollrath, L., 1973, Synaptic ribbons of a mammalian pineal gland. Circadian changes. Z. Zellforsch. Mikrosk. Anat. 145: 171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vollrath, L. and Huss, H., 1973, The synaptic ribbons of the guinea-pig pineal gland under normal and experimental conditions. Z. Zellforsch. Mikrosk. Anat. 139: 417.Google Scholar
  39. Vollrath, L., 1979, Comparative morphology of the vertebrate pineal complex. Progr. Brain Res. 52: 25.Google Scholar
  40. Vollrath, L., 1981, The Pineal Organ. In: Hdb. mikr. Anat. Mensch. A. Oksche, L. Vollrath, eds. VI/7. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York.Google Scholar
  41. Welsh, M. G. and Reiter, R. J., 1978, The pineal gland of the gerbil, Meriones unguiculatus. I. An ultrastructural study. Cell Tiss. Res. 193: 323.Google Scholar
  42. Wolfe, D. E., 1965, The epiphyseal cell: an electron-microscopic study of its intercellular relationships and intracellular morphology in the pineal body of the albino rat. Progr. Brain Res. 10: 332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lutz Vollrath
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyJohannes Gutenberg-UniversityMainzFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations