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Morphology of the Human Pineal Gland in Relation to Age and Sex

W. Dokov, V. Dokov


Plasma concentration of melatonin - the hormone secreted by the human pineal gland is highest in children between 1 and 3 years of age. In the next age groups its levels decrease and in adults they are by approximately 80% lower. These drastic age differences in the function of the pineal gland made us hypothesize that some structural differences in it related to age and sex can be expected. The aim of this study was to investigate the macroscopic and microscopic characteristics of the pineal gland in relation to age and sex. Some 126 pineal glands were observed and histologically studied. Of them, 87 were taken from men and 37 from women with mean age of 52,65 (from 20 to 95) years. Slices of 5 µ were cut from paraffin blocks, stained with hematoxylin and eosin and microscopically examined. Data was analysed with standard statistical procedures. No gender-related differences in the macroscopic characteristics and the histologic structure of the pineal gland were identified. Age was not related to the macroscopic characteristics of the pineal gland, too. However, some differences in the histologic structure of the gland in relation to age were observed. Partially defined pseudolobs prevailed in the glands of younger people, while with increasing age glands with well-defined pseudolobs were more common.


Human Pineal Gland; Histology; Age and Sex

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About The Authors

W. Dokov


W. Dokov, Dept, of Forensic Medicine and Deontology. Prof. P. Stoyanov Medical University of Varna, 55 Marin Drinov St, BG-9002, Varna, BULGARIA

V. Dokov


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