The ultrastructure of the pinealocytes of the wild-captured ord kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordi) was examined. A homogeneous population of pinealocytes was present in the pineal gland of the kangaroo rat. The Golgi apparatus, granular endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, lysosomes, dense-core vesicles, vacuoles containing a flocculent material and lipid droplets were consistent components of the pinealocyte cytoplasm, whereas infrequently-observed organelles included centrioles, multivesicular bodies, subsurface cisternae, "synaptic" ribbons and cilia. The number of dense-core vesicles was relatively high and dense-core vesicles and vacuoles containing a flocculent material were present in the same cell. Although it has been recently suggested that two different secretory processes, i.e., neurosecretory-like (Golgi apparatus - dense-core vesicles) and ependymal-like (granular endoplasmic reticulum - vacuoles containing a flocculent material) may be involved in different regulatory mechanisms in the pinealocytes, the definitive answer to this is still far from clear. Therefore, the pineal gland of the kangaroo rat appears to be a good model for the study of the potential relationship between these two secretory processes, especially in respect to seasonal changes.
- Kangaroo rat
- Pineal gland
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology