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Anatomical and morphological aspects of papillae, epithelium, muscles, and glands of rats’ tongue: Light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopic study

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      The purpose of this paper is to describe the research results of the morphological structure of white laboratory rats’ tongue at the macro-, micro-, and ultrastructural levels by scanning, light, and transmission electron microscopy.


      Our results show that the tongue of these rats has a number of unique morphological features that are different from the tongue of other rodents consequently to allow identifying their species-specific features.


      Our findings have shown the features of the tongue structure of white laboratory rats at micro-, macro-, and ultrascopic levels. The data analysis revealed that mucous membrane of the tongue contains a large number of papillae, such as fungiform, filiform, foliate, vallate, and multifilamentary papillae. Each has a different shape, size, and location. The tongue’s morphological feature consists of three types of filiform papillae, well-developed foliate and multifilamentary papillae, as well as one large and similar smaller circumvallate papillae. The muscle of the tongue contains a large number of mitochondria of different shapes and sizes. However, we have received data for a complete picture of structure of this organ that will be useful in further experimental and morphological studies of the white laboratory rats.

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      Most cited references 26

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      Three-dimensional architecture of the connective tissue core of the lingual papillae in the guinea pig.

       K Kobayashi (1990)
      The three-dimensional structure of the connective tissue core (CTC) of the lingual papillae of the guinea pig was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy, after fixation with Karnovsky's fixative and after removal of the epithelial cell layers by long-term treatment with hydrochloric acid. The CTC of four types of lingual papillae was revealed. (a) Filiform papillae distributed over the anterior part (comprising about one half of the tongue) are characterized by having a few long connective tissue protrusions arranged transversely to the long axis of the tongue, while large conical papillae distributed on the intermolar prominence (intermediate part comprising most of the posterior half of the tongue) have more numerous and longer connective tissue protrusions, forming a bundle. (b) Fungiform papillae scattered among the filiform papillae are restricted to the anterior part of the tongue and possess connective tissue components in the form of a "fist-like" structure. (c) Foliate papillae are found in lateral and posterior locations. At both sites they contain slender epithelial crypts. Removal of the epithelia reveals wide grooves which correspond to the epithelial crypts. The rims of these grooves are surrounded by numerous small protrusions.
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        The dual pattern of keratinization in filiform papillae on rat tongue.

         A Farbman (1970)
          • Record: found
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          Scanning electron microscopy study of the lingual papillae in the European mole (Talpa europea, L., Talpidae).

           H Jackowiak (2006)
          The tongue in the adult European mole (Talpa europea L.) was examined by scanning electron microscope. The elongated tongue with a rounded apex is about 12-13 mm in length and 3-4 mm in width. On the apex the shallow median groove is present. On the dorsal surface of the lingual mucosa two types of mechanical papillae and two types of gustatory papillae were observed. Mechanical papillae are represented by numerous filiform papillae with a single process, covering the whole surface of the apex and body of the tongue, and massive conical papillae, found on the root of the tongue. The structure and density of filiform papillae varies in the anterior and posterior part of the tongue. A unique trait of the tongue in the European mole is the occurrence on the apex of the tongue of a single row of conical papillae. Gustatory papillae are represented by numerous fungiform papillae and one pair of vallate papillae. Dome-shaped fungiform papillae in the anterior part of the tongue are arranged linearly along both margins of the tongue, whereas in the posterior part of the body of the tongue flat fungiform papillae are distributed evenly among filiform papillae. Oval vallate papillae are surrounded by a continuous furrow and a single pad. In the posterior part of the root behind conical papillae the surface of the mucosa is flat with numerous orifices of lingual papillae located there. Observations on the distribution and structure of gustatory papillae in the common mole did not show the existence of special traits, differing them from those in terrestrial insectivores. The comparison of the morphology of the tongue, the distribution and structure of the lingual papillae in the European mole with those in the other species of Insectivores, indicated of a general similarity of features within the family Talpidae.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Normal Anatomy with Courses of the Topographical Anatomy, the Operational Surgery, Histology, Cytology and Embryology, Sumy State University , Sumy, Ukraine
            [2 ]Department of Family and Public Medicine, Section “Stomatology”, Sumy State University , Sumy, Ukraine
            [3 ]Department of Pathology, Sumy State University , Sumy, Ukraine
            [4 ]Sumy State University , Sumy, Ukraine
            Author notes
            [* ]Corresponding author: Mykola Lyndin, MD, PhD; Department of Pathology, Sumy State University, 2, Rymskogo-Korsakova St., 40007 Sumy, Ukraine; Phone: +380 977155524; Fax: +380 54 266 09 50; E-mail: lyndin_nikolay@
            Interv Med Appl Sci
            Interv Med Appl Sci
            Interventional Medicine & Applied Science
            Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
            22 September 2017
            September 2017
            : 9
            : 3
            : 168-177
            © 2017 The Author(s)

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Figures: 5, Tables: 6, Equations: 0, References: 26, Pages: 19
            Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
            Original Paper

            rat, tongue, papillae, microscopy, oral cavity, morphometry


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