Vol. 28, Nš 3

Morphologic analysis of mice’s pineal gland

Matsunaga, MM.; Crunfli, F.; Fernandes, GJM.; Rossi Junior, WC.; Esteves, A

KEYWORDS: pineal gland, mouse, morphology

ABSTRACT: The pineal gland or pineal body is an endocrine gland that constitutes an important part of the neuroendocrine system, due to the secretion of melatonin, a hormone responsible for the seasonal organization of several physiologic and behavioral events of an individual’s life. Experimental researches using animals such as rats, mice and rabbits are often found in the extensive specific literature but aspects related to the morphology of mice’s pineal gland are few. Concerning its small size, the present paper performed a microscopic analysis of serial median sagittal sections of the pineal gland of 13 (thirteen) Swiss mice. The pineal gland of Swiss mice was found to be in the median plane below the splenium of the corpus callosus, superior and dorsal to the habenular commissure, and rostral to the rostral colliculi. The pineal gland is closely related to the third ventricle and presents itself with a characteristic tonsillar shape with a stalk. Two types of different cells were identified in the gland, that is, astrocytes and pinealocytes, spreading randomly all over the glandular tissue. Calcifications of the pineal gland were not found in any of the observed animals.