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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 10 - Digestive System

Plate 10.179 Tongue: Vallate papilla

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Vallate papilla

Plate 10.179 Tongue: Vallate papilla

Human, Zenker's fluid, phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin stain, 26 x.

Vallate papillae line the V-shaped boundary between the anterior two thirds and posterior one third of the tongue. They are shaped like an inverted cone.

Stratified squamous epithelium: Covers the tongue surface and dips into the trenches between papillae.

Trench: A moat or groove that surrounds each vallate papilla.

Tastebuds: The organs of taste. Oval structures located in the lateral wall of vallate papillae and less frequently in the outer wall of the trench.

Nerve fibers: Myelinated nerve fibers, 1 to 6 µm in diameter, branch profusely within the papillae, lose their myelin, penetrate the basement membrane and form a plexus around the receptor cells of taste buds.

Serous glands of von Ebner: Limited to the posterior part of the tongue in the neighborhood of the vallate papillae. Ducts open into the circumvallate groove surrounding the vallate papillae.

Connective tissue: Forms the core of the papillae and supports the underlying glands. This connective tissue is rich in collagenous and elastic fibers.

von Ebner, 1842-1925, was a Viennese histologist.

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