Image result for pineal glandThe Pineal Gland is a gland that is part of the Endocrine system.

It is located near the center of the Brain and its shape is similar to a Pine Cone. The Pineal Gland is also referred to as the Epiphysis or Pineal Body

This is a very small gland whose main purpose is the production of Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that affects the sleep and wake patterns. The release of Melatonin is attributed to darkness while light causes melatonin production to decrease.

The Structure Development of this gland – It is much larger while in adolescents and prior to puberty. It’s size decreases somewhat into adulthood.

Structure

–  This gland is the only structure that is actually mid-line in the brain.
–  The gland is typically a reddish-gray
–  It is the size of a grain of rice in humans.
–  It sits between the Thalamic bodies and behind Habenular Commissure and behind the Third Ventricle.

Blood Brain Barrier System

–  This gland is not isolated from the body by the blood-brain barrier

–  It has a large amount of blood flow from the choroidal branches of the posterior cerebral artery.

Histology

–  The following is cellular structure of the pineal gland.

  –  Pineal gland parenchyma with calcifications.

  –  Micrograph of a normal pineal gland – extremely high magnification.

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