Morphometric analytical procedures were employed to study the pineal gland of the Mongolian gerbil following superior cervical ganglionectomy (SCGX). The purpose of this study was to define the effects of sympathetic denervation on the morphology of the gland at two time periods, 0500 and 1900 h (one hour before lights-on and lights-off, respectively). Fluorescence histochemistry was employed to determine catecholamine and indoleamine content in intact and denervated pineal glands. After SCGX, the pinealocytes decrease in size, concretions are prevented from forming, and the yellow fluorescence in the gland is lost. Following denervation a depression in the volume of most of the pinealocyte organelles, i.e., SER, RER/ribosomes, free cytoplasm, mitochondria and presumptive secretory vesicles, was also observed. However, synaptic ribbons increased in volume in the gerbils that had been killed at 1900 h. It appears that the sympathetic innervation to the pineal gland is a requirement for the presumptive secretory activity of the pinealocytes.
- Fluorescence histochemistry
- Morphometric analysis
- Superior cervical ganglionectomy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology