The pineal body of white normal rats, 1.5 to 3 months old, was studied under the electron microscope. A single type of parenchymal cell—the pinealocyte—is recognized as the main component of the tissue, and some of the structural characteristics of the nucleus and cytoplasm are described. The main morphological characteristic of the pinealocytes is represented by club-shaped perivascular expansions connected to the cell by thin pedicles. They are found lying in a large, clear space surrounding the blood capillaries. The name plurivesicular secretory processes is proposed, to emphasize the main structural feature and the probable function of these cellular expansions. A tubulofibrillar component is mainly found in the pedicle, and within the expansion there are numerous small mitochondria and densily packed vesicles of about 425 A. Two types of vesicles, one with a homogeneous content and another with a very dense osmium deposit, are described. Between the two types there are intermediary forms. In these processes, mitochondria show profound changes which may lead to complete vacuolization. The significance of this plurivesicular secretory component is discussed in the light of recent work on the biogenic amines of the pineal body and preliminary experiments showing the release of the vesicles containing dense granules after treatment with reserpine. These vesicles are interpreted as the site of storage of some of the biogenic amines. Bundles of unmyelinated nerve fibers and endings on large blood vessels which also contain a plurivesicular content are described and tentatively interpreted as adrenergic nerve terminals.

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