Pineal Function: The Biological Clock in the Sparrow?

  title={Pineal Function: The Biological Clock in the Sparrow?},
  author={Suzanne Gaston and Michael Menaker},
  pages={1125 - 1127}
The pineal organ of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, is essential for persistence of the circadian locomotor rhythm in constant conditions. Upon removal of the pineal body, activity becomes arrhythmic. However, pinealectomy does not abolish the rhythm of locomotor activity in birds exposed to light-dark cycles. Pinealectomized birds are entrained by light cycles in much the same manner as are normal birds. Our data demonstrate that the pineal organ is a crucial component of the endogenous… 

Pineal Function in Sparrows: Circadian Rhythms and Body Temperature

Deep body temperature of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, was monitored continuously by radio telemetry. Pinealectomy abolished the normal circadian rhythm of body temperature in constant

Neural connections of sparrow pineal: role in circadian control of activity

Surgical and chemical interference with the neural connections of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) pineal does not abolish the free-running rhythm in constant darkness, unlike pinealectomy.

Circadian organization in lizards: the role of the pineal organ.

After pinealectomy, the iguanid lizard Sceloporus olivaceus exhibits a "splitting" of the circadian activity rhythm into two components, marked changes in the period of the rhythm, or arrhythmicity.

Role of the Pineal in the Circadian System of Birds

It is suggested that the avian pineal contains a self-sustained oscillator, and as a consequence, produces a rhythmic hormonal output which entrains the damped oscillator and restores the system to its normal state.

Circadian Rhythms of the Isolated Chicken Pineal in Vitro

It is argued that the pineal functions as a pacemaker within the circadian system of the sparrow.

Entrainment of the circadian system of the house sparrow: A population of oscillators in pinealectomized birds

The results suggest that after pinealectomy, there remains a population of oscillators whose combined output is reflected in the locomotor activity of individual sparrows.

Persistence of circadian activity rhythms in pinealectomized European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Surgical removal of pineal glands from adult male European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) does not alter circadian perch-hopping activity rhythms characteristic of this species maintained in constant darkness, and the results conflict with those reported for three other passerine species in which pinealectomy abolishes circadian activity patterns.

Neural Mechanisms in Avian Circadian Systems: Hypothalamic Pacemaking Systems

The interspecific differences in the effects of pinealectomy among birds demonstrate that structures other than the pineal play an important role in regulating avian circadian rhythms.

Effects of pinealectomy on circadian locomotor activity rhythms in european starlings,Sturnus vulgaris

  • E. Gwinner
  • Biology
    Journal of comparative physiology
  • 2004
The results differ from those obtained previously by Menaker and his co-workers on the house sparrow, in which pinealectomy always resulted in arrhythmia, but it is proposed that this model fits both the starling and the sparrow data and clarifies some previously unexplained results.

Circadian locomotor rhythms in the desert iguana I. The role of the eyes and the pineal

The data suggest that neither the pineal nor the eyes are central components of the circadian pacemaking system in Dipsosaurus, nor is melatonin critically involved in maintaining its organization.



Avian Pineal Gland: Progonadotropic Response in the Japanese Quail

The results suggest that the pineal gland in females has a stimulatory effect on gonadal growth during maturation.

Circadian activity rhythms in cockroaches. 3. The role of endocrine and neural factors.

No evidence is found to support Harker's claim that the locomotor rhythm in the cockroach, Periplaneta americana, is timed by a secretory “clock” located in the subesophageal ganglion, and the results of another series of experiments show that the Cockroach brain is involved in the control of the activity rhythm.

Control of the circadian rhythm of activity in the cockroach. I. The role of the corpora cardiaca, brain and stress.

  • J. Brady
  • Biology
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1967
It is suggested that the differences between the views of Harker and Roberts concerning the influence of the corpora cardiaca may be explained in terms of the type of actograph used and the possibility that a cardiacum secretion controls the amount of activity but not its periodicity.

The pineal gland.

The evidence at hand suggests that the pineal participates in some way in the regulation of the gonads, or sex glands, and is an intricate and sensitive "biological clock," converting cyclic nervous activity generated by light in the environment into endocrine-that is, hormonal-information.


Evidence is presented which demonstrates a relationship between the neurosecretory cells of the Pars intercerebralis and the circadian rhythm, and the suggestion is made that the pars interceebralis acts as a rhythmic suppressor of general locomotory activity resulting in rhythmic locomotORY behavior.

Observations of the Pineal in the White Leghorn Capon and Cockerel

It is claimed that the removal of the pineal results in a hypertrophy of the testis, but the interpretation of these results is confused by the reports of Engel (1939) and Fischer (1943) who reported either a hastening or delay in the opening of the mouse vagina following the injection of their two extracts.

Endocrine and nervous factors in insect circadian rhythms.

  • J. E. Harker
  • Medicine
    Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology
  • 1960

The birds were fed about every 14 days without interruption of constant darkness

  • 1965

Activity recordings were obtained under conditions previously described

    Harker , in Cold Spring Harbor Symp

    • Quant . Biol .