Ultrastructure of the pineal gland of the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Michal Karasek, Thomas S. King, John T. Hansen, Russel J. Reiter

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11 Scopus citations


The ultrastructure of the pineal gland of the wild‐captured eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) was examined. A homogenous population of pinealocytes was the characteristic cellular element of the chipmunk pineal gland. Often, pinealocytes showed a folliclelike arrangement. Mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, granular endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, centrioles, dense‐core vesicles, clear vesicles, glycogen particles, and microtubules were consistent components of the pinealocyte cytoplasm. The extraordinary ultrastructural feature of the chipmunk pinealocyte was the presence of extremely large numbers of “synaptic” ribbons. The number of “synaptic” ribbons in this species exceeded by a factor of five to 30 times that found in any species previously reported. In addition to pinealocytes, the pineal parenchyma contained glial cells (oligodendrocytes and fibrous astrocytes). Capillaries of the pineal gland of the chipmunk consisted of a fenestrated endothelium. Adrenergic nerve terminals were relatively sparse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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