- Also called as Epiphysis Cerebri
- The pineal gland is a pine cone shaped gland
of the endocrine system.
- The Gland is conical, grey body measuring 5 to
8mm in length and 3 to 5mm in its greatest
- A structure of the diencephalon of the brain,
the pineal gland produces several hormones
- Melatonin influences sexual development and
sleep cycles. The pineal gland is composed of
cells called pinealocytes and the cells of the
nervous system called glial cells.
- The pineal gland connects the endocrine
system with the nervous system in that it
converts nerve signals from the sympathetic
system of the peripheral nervous system into
- The pineal gland is involved in several
functions of the body including:-
- Secretion of the hormone melatonin
- Regulation of endocrine functions
- Conversion of nervous system signals to
- Causes feeling of sleepiness
- Influences sexual development .
- Pia matter: the delicate inner layer of connective
tissue that surrounds the brain
- Surrounding the pineal body
- Which functions as its capsule and which sends
connective tissue septa into the pineal body
subdividing it into lobules.
- In the pineal we find two cell types,pinealocytes
(95% large light and round nuclei) and
astrocytes(glial cells,dark and elongated)
- Apart from cells the pineal gland also contains
sand— brain sand( corpora arenacea)
- These are calcium containing concretions in
the pineal parenchyma, which increase in size
and number with age. These concretions are
- They don’t have any other function.
- Interstitial cells- cells of the second type found
amoung the pinealocytes and in greater
number in the stalk of the gland.
- They have elongated nuclei.
- They resemble the astrocytes of the brain in
having long process and an abundance of
intermediate filaments throughout the