Plate 10.180 Tongue: Mucous and Serous Glands
Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Human, Zenker's fluid, phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin stain, 26 x.
Mixed serous and mucous glands (glands of Nuhn*) are found in the anterior two thirds of the inferior surface of the tongue. They are shown here intermixed with striated muscle fibers, collagenous connective tissue, and fat.
Fat cells: Appear empty because their lipid content has been lost in tissue preparation.
Collagenous connective tissue: Surrounds and supports the glands and encompasses muscle fibers to form fascicles.
Mucous glands: Embedded between muscle fascicles. Appear lightly stained.
Mucous gland ducts: Several are seen in this figure. They open primarily on the surface of the tongue.
Serous glands: Scattered among muscle fascicles. The cytoplasm stains more deeply here than in mucous glands.
Striated muscle longitudinal section: Interlacing muscle fibers of the tongue run in three directions: longitudinal, transverse, and vertical. The muscle fibers located between glands are inserted in the dense connective tissue beneath the surface epithelium.
*Nuhn was a nineteenth-century Heidelberg anatomist.
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