Pineal Gland

Pineal Gland

The Common Vein Copyright 2009

“The singular intersection point of the material and immaterial” – Rene Descartes

The pineal gland is an endocrine gland between the thamalic bodies. The habenula is anterior to the pineal gland. The pineal gland receives input from the suprachiasmatic nuclei which receives its input from the retina. The pineal gland converts the inputs to hormone signals. The pineal gland also has serotonin containing cells.


The pineal gland produces melatonin, which regulates circadian rhythm (sets internal biological clock). The retina provides the regulator input for the pineal gland through the suprachiasmatic nucleus.  The gland shrinks in puberty, suggesting a role in sexual development. It may also function in addictive behavior.


Dysfunction of the pineal gland would result in abnormal sleep cycles and/or sexual development.


It is often calcified, making it visible in neuro-imaging. Melatonin levels would also be measured to determine hyper or hypo activity in the pineal gland.


Treatment would be pharmacological.



Pineal – Small Central Structure


Courtesy Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine Dr. Jennifer Luebke , and Dr. Douglas Rosene 97352.C13.9L01