Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 222, Issue 2, pp 433–444 | Cite as

The parapineal and pineal organs of the elver (glass eel), Anguilla anguilla L.

  • Theo Van Veen


The parapineal organ of the glass eel (elver) consists of approximately 400 cells and is situated to the left of the connection of the pineal stalk to the third ventricle. A conspicuous nerve tract containing approximately 350 fibers arises from the parapineal organ and runs in spatial relationship to the habenular commissure toward the left habenular nucleus. The dominating cell type of the parapineal organ of the elver is a neuron (sensory neuron) of small diameter provided with atypical cilia (9×2+0, or rarely 8×2+0 types). Well-developed photoreceptor outer segments are lacking, and no interstitial cells of ependymal type have been observed with certainty in the parapineal organ. The axonal processes from the nerve cells form the tract leaving the parapineal organ.

The pineal organ proper of the elver consists of photoreceptor cells with well-developed outer segments, interstitial cells of ependymal type, and ganglion cells. Axons from the latter form the pineal tract, which leaves the pineal organ and runs in close contact with the subcommissural organ toward the posterior commissure. The proximal part of the pineal stalk contains only a few photoreceptor cells the outer segments of which are less developed than those of the pineal body and the distal part of the pineal stalk.

Key words

Parapineal organ Pineal organ Photoreceptors Primary sensory cells Anguilla anguilla Elver 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theo Van Veen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of LundLundSweden

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