Morphologic Changes in Rat's Pineal Gland After Eliminating Retinal Photic Stimulation
Melatonin secretion from mammalian pineal glands is regulated by light stimulation by means of a complex neuroanatomical pathway that includes the retina, hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus, intermediolateral nucleus of the thoracic spinal cord, and finally, the superior cervical ganglia. The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in the pinealocytes and the blood vessel density of the pineal gland after eliminating photic stimulation in rats. Thirteen adult Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 2 groups, Group I acted as control, and Group II was subjected to a retinal lesión, by means of alcohol injected bilaterally to both ocular bulbs. After 3 weeks, the glands of both groups were processed with hematoxilin-eosin (HE) and observed with an optic microscope. Group II results presented higher valúes in the number of pinealocytes and in the blood vessels observed. The differences with Group I was significant at p <0.01. These results give an indirect evidence of the effect that photic stimulation suppression has in the pineal gland in rats.