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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ultrastructure of the rat pineal gland grafted under the kidney capsule.

Pineal glands were grafted under the kidney capsule of mature male rats for periods of 20, 40, 60 and 100 days. Each grafted gland was then excised and divided into two halves. One half was processed for conventional electron microscopy and the other was fixed in aldehydes and then incubated in a zinc-iodide-osmium tetroxide mixture at pH 4.4 (A-ZIO-4.4). During the forty days following the operation pinealocytes showed the typical ultrastructural features associated with cells with a high protein and/or peptide secretory activity. On the other hand, during this period, the number of granular vesicles decreased progressively. From day 40 on, the grafted pinealocytes lacked granular vesicles. During the second half of the experimental period the ultrastructure of the pinealocytes indicated that their secretory activity was considerably decreased. During the acute phase of the experimental period numerous structures regarded as the tip of growing axons as well as typical nerve fibres appeared around blood vessels and within the paren chyma of the grafted gland. In the transplanted tissue obtained 60 and 100 days after the operation the growth cones were scarce, whereas typical nerve endings became numerous. These endings contained small clear vesicles which reacted positively when the tissue was treated with A-ZIO-4. 4. The secretory activity of the grafted pineal gland and the nature of the nerve fibres which innervate the graft are discussed.[1]


  1. Ultrastructure of the rat pineal gland grafted under the kidney capsule. Aguado, L.I., Benelbaz, G.A., Gutierrez, L.S., Rodriguez, E.M. Cell Tissue Res. (1977) [Pubmed]
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