A histological and histochemical study of the pineal gland of neonatal, juvenile and adult gerbils is described. Calcified inclusions appear within pinealocytes in the superficial pineal about the third week of age, and the incidence of inclusions increases with age until, by the eleventh week, they are found in all animals. The inclusions contain an organic matrix composed of a carbohydrate, probably an acid mucopolysaccharide, complexed to protein. Calcification does not occur in the deep pineal. The data are interpreted to indicate that the formation of calcified inclusions is a normal process within the gerbil pineal. The similarity of the process of calcification in the gerbil and in the human pineal suggests that the gerbil may be the animal of choice for the controlled study of the phenomenon of pineal calcification.

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