The Pineal Gland and its Endocrine Role

  • J. Axelrod
  • F. Fraschini
  • G. P. Velo

Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 65)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introductory Lecture

  3. Anatomy

  4. Biochemistry

    1. I. Ebels, M. G. M. Balemans, J. van Benthem, H. P. J. M. Noteborn, A. de Morée
      Pages 151-178
    2. D. P. Cardinali, Mónica N. Ritta, María I. Vacas, P. R. Lowenstein, P. V. Gejman, C. González Solveyra et al.
      Pages 199-219
    3. R. J. Wurtman, M. H. Deng, P. Ronsheim
      Pages 221-226
    4. G. M. Brown, L. J. Grota, L. Harvey, H. W. Tsui, S. F. Pang
      Pages 243-256
  5. Physiology

  6. Clinical Aspects

    1. Merrily Poth, Sadayoshi Higa, Sanford Markey
      Pages 509-519
    2. Richard J. Wurtman, Franz Waldhauser, Harris R. Lieberman
      Pages 551-573
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 589-604

About this book


The pineal gland has been a subject of interest and speculation for more than 2000 years. Greek anatomists were impressed by the ob­ servation that the pineal gland is an unpaired structure and they believed that it regulated the flow of thoughts. The philosopher Descartes proposed an important role for this organ in brain function. At the beginning of the 20th century experiments by several investi­ gators indicated that the pineal influenced sexual function and skin pigmentation and was also responsive to light signals. With the iso­ lation of melatonin from bovine pineal glands by Lerner and cowork­ ers in 1958 the modern era of pineal research was initiated. Within a few years the pathway for the biosynthesis of melatonin in the pineal was elucidated. Soon thereafter it was shown that the formation of melatonin was influenced by environmental lighting. Ana­ tomists found that the pineal was innervated by sympathetic nerves and that the gland had photoreceptor elements. It was also shown that the gonads were influenced by light via the pineal gland. Research on the pineal gland became of increasing interest to anatomists, bioche­ mists, pharmacologists and endocrinologists. With the expanding know­ ledge concerning the function of the pineal gland contributed by the wide variety of disciplines, it was thought that a study workshop would be timely.


brain medicine neurosciences sympathetic nerve

Editors and affiliations

  • J. Axelrod
    • 1
  • F. Fraschini
    • 2
  • G. P. Velo
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.University of MilanMilanItaly
  3. 3.University of VeronaVeronaItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4757-1453-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4757-1451-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site