Ultrastructural observations of pineal gland capillaries in four rodent species

Shoji Matsushima, Russel J. Reiter

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9 Scopus citations


The fine structure of the capillaries of the pineal glands of the rat, mouse, chinchilla and ground squirrel were investigated. The pineal endothelial cells in the rat, mouse and ground squirrel were often composed of attenuated cytoplasmic portions which contained numerous fenestrations, in contrast to pineal capillaries in the chinchilla which were lined by thick non‐fenestrated endothelial cells. Marked morphological differences were also apparent in terms of the types of vesicles within the cytoplasm and abutting on the cell surface of pineal endothelial cells from the various specius investigated. The interendo‐thelial junctions exhibited remarkable species differences with the chinchilla pineal possessing typical tight endothelial junctions while those in the rat, mouse and ground squirrel lacked such endothelial cell associations. Generally, capillary lining cells in the chinchilla pineal resembled similar cells within the brain, while endothelial cells in pineal glands of rat, mouse and ground squirrel were more typical of those found in other endocrine organs. Species differences in the structure of the pineal capillaries may represent physiological differences as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-281
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Anatomy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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