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Chapter 22 – The Pineal Gland and Melatonin

Gary Wand

  Pineal Gland
  Neural Innervation of the Pineal Gland

  Melatonin
  Synthesis and Secretion of Melatonin

  Actions of Endogenous and Exogenous Melatonin
  Sleep
  Jet Lag
  Reproduction
  Temperature
  Blood Pressure
  Immune System and Cancer
  Antioxidant and Anti-Aging
  Psychiatric Disorders

  Lesions of the Pineal Gland and Pineal Region
  Pineal Gland Cysts
  Tumors in the Pineal Gland Region

  Clinical Presentation for All Tumors in the Pineal Region
  Imaging
  Staging Workup and Histologic Diagnosis

The human pineal gland is the most poorly understood endocrine organ. Although it has been described as a dispensable gland in humans, the pineal gland converts light information into a hormonal signal in the form of melatonin. Melatonin is a chronobiotic hormone with multiple pleomorphic actions. The hormone transmits information regarding day length which helps organize circadian and seasonal rhythms. The mammalian pineal gland plays numerous modulatory roles in the regulation of sleep, …