Ultracytochemical localization of calcium ions in the pineal organ of the domestic turkey
Lewczuk B., Prusik M., Ziółkowska N., Przybylska-Gornowicz B.
Calcium ions are involved in several processes occurring in the avian pineal, including the regulation of melatonin secretion. The aim of study was to investigate distribution of calcium ions in the pineal organ of domestic turkey at the level of electron microscopy. The study was performed on 12 female turkeys housed in a cycle of 12 L : 12 D (light intensity 300 lux; 07:00 – 19:00), starting from the third week of life. At the age of 12 weeks, the birds were anesthetized with halothane and sacrificed by decapitation at 14:00 and at 02:00 (in darkness). The pineals were fixed using the potassium pyroantimonate method, which enables visualization of calcium ions in the form of electron dense precipitates. Extremely numerous, large precipitates of calcium pyroantimonate were observed between collagen fibres of the connective tissue surrounding the pineal follicles. The number of precipitates in the follicles was much lower than in the neighbouring stroma. Precipitates were numerous in intercellular spaces between cells forming the follicular wall. In contrast, they were infrequently observed in the follicular lumen. In pinealocytes, large amounts of precipitates were present in the nucleus, mitochondria and short, wide cisterns of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Precipitates were sparse in the apical prolongations of rudimentary-receptor pinealocytes. The content of precipitates did not differ prominently between individual pinealocytes. Precipitates in the cytosol of both rudimentary-receptor pinealocytes and secretory pinealocytes were much more numerous in the organs taken ex vivo during nighttime than during daytime. Supporting cells contained much fewer precipitates than pinealocytes.
Lewczuk B., Prusik M., Ziółkowska N., Przybylska-Gornowicz B. 2012. Ultracytochemical localization of calcium ions in the pineal organ of the domestic turkey. J. Elem. 17(4): 609 - 627, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2012.17.4.05.
calcium, pineal organ, cytochemistry, pyroantimonate, turkey