CNS tumor
Pineal tumors
Pineal gland - normal

Topic Completed: 1 January 2006

Revised: 2 January 2019, last major update January 2006

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: "Normal pineal gland"

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,387
Page views in 2020 to date: 527
Cite this page: Pernick N. Pineal gland - normal. website. Accessed May 26th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Also called epiphysis, pineal body
  • Between superior colliculi at base of brain; 100 - 180 mg
  • Develops at month 2 of gestation as diverticulum in diencephalic roof of third ventricle
  • Replaced by connective tissue after puberty
  • Produces melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythms
Diagrams / tables

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Location in brain

Gross description
  • Shaped like a pine cone, midline, attached to posterior end of roof of third ventricle in front of cerebellum, 1 cm long, red gray
Gross images

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Local anatomy (horse)

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Loose neuroglial stroma with nests of pineocytes containing well defined neurosecretory (melatonin) granules
  • Also astrocytes
  • Has features of photoreceptors and concretions ("brain sand")
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Sagittal section



Positive stains
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