CNS & pituitary tumors


Anatomy & histology-pineal gland

Last author update: 1 January 2006
Last staff update: 22 July 2020

Copyright: 2002-2024, Inc.

PubMed Search: "Normal pineal gland"

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Anatomy & histology-pineal gland. website. Accessed April 14th, 2024.
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")
Positive stains
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