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.

It 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.

Melatonin release is attributed to darkness while light causes melatonin production to decrease.

Development – This gland is much larger while in adolescents prior to puberty

 

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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