(also pineal gland, pineal body)
A pea-sized conical mass of tissue behind the third ventricle of the brain, secreting a hormone-like substance in some mammals.
- Other distinct anatomic structures such as the pineal gland and third ventricle could not be identified due to autolysis.
- The cells of the suprachiasmatic nucleus send signals to other parts of the brain, especially the pineal gland, initiating hormonal and nerve signals that synchronize the body and the brain to the biological clock.
- Melatonin is a hormone secreted at night by the pineal gland of the brain.
Late 17th century: from French pinéal, from Latin pinea 'pine cone'. The anatomical term refers to the shape of the gland.
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