Rat pinealectomy: a modified direct visual approach

Acta Cir Bras. 2009 Jul-Aug;24(4):321-4. doi: 10.1590/s0102-86502009000400013.


Purpose: To report a new, direct visual approach for rat pinealectomy.

Methods: Eighty adult female rats (Rattus norvegicus albinus EPM-1 strain) were weighted and anesthetized intraperitoneally with 15 mg/kg xylazine and 30 mg/kg ketamine. The animal was fastened to a dissection table, an incision was made in the skin and the subcutaneous tissue, bringing the lambda into view. The skullcap was opened with a dental drill, bringing the cerebral hemispheres and the superior sagittal sinus into view. The pineal gland, located under the venous sinus, was removed in a single piece using tweezers. Next, the bone fragment was returned to its place and the surgical layers were sutured.

Results: This new technique is easy to be done, avoids bleedings and removes only the pineal gland without damage to the remaining encephalon. In addition it makes possible the achievement of a sham surgery, allowing the pineal gland to remain intact.

Conclusion: The proposed technique intends to facilitate studies aiming to better understanding the complexity and importance of the pineal gland on reproductive and other body systems.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Melatonin / physiology
  • Pineal Gland / physiology
  • Pineal Gland / surgery*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reproduction / physiology


  • Melatonin