, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 177–187 | Cite as

Cytochemical studies on cytoplasmic granular elements in the hamster pineal gland

  • Kuo-Shyan Lu
  • Huai-San Lin


The pineal gland of adult golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) was studied by various cytochemical methods at the electron microscopic level: (1) the modified chromaffin reaction specific for 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), (2) argentaffin reaction, (3) zinc-iodide-osmium (ZIO) mixture reaction and (4) acid phosphatase reaction. In the pinealocytes, the dense-cored vesicles (80–160 nm in diameter) show both chromaffinity and argentaffinity, while the population of dense bodies (150–400 nm in diameter) is reactive to ammoniacal silver solution and ZIO mixture but not to the modified chromaffin reaction. After incubation for demonstration of acid phosphatase activity, reaction products are localized in some, but not all, of the dense bodies, in some of the small vesicles in the Golgi region and in one or two inner Golgi saccules. In nerve fibers in the pineal gland, small granulated vesicles are also reactive to the modified chromaffin reaction and ZIO mixture. Based upon these cytochemical results the following conclusions have been reached: (1) dense cored vesicles in the pinealocytes and small granulated vesicles in the nerve fibers of the hamster pineal gland contain 5-HT, and (2) the population of dense bodies in the pinealocytes is heterogenous, some are lysosomes and the others are possibly the granules responsible for the secretion of pineal peptides.


Acid Phosphatase Pineal Gland Dense Body Acid Phosphatase Activity Golden Hamster 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kuo-Shyan Lu
    • 1
  • Huai-San Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, College of MedicineNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, Republic of China

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