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Okajimas Folia Anat Jpn. 2008 Aug;85(2):57-66.

Comparative morphological study on the lingual papillae and their connective tissue cores in rabbits.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, The Nippon Dental University, Niigata, Japan.


The morphological structure of the lingual papillae and their connective tissue cores (CTC) in a rabbit were studied using LM and SEM and were compared to that of other animal species. Externally, the filiform papillae distributed on the anterior surface of the dorsal tongue were short and conical with a round base and had a flat area on their anterior upper half. The CTC of the conical filiform papillae had a roughly triangular plate-like structure with a round top. Several small round protrusions were found on both inclined planes of the triangle. Spearhead-like filiform papillae were distributed on the anterior edge of the lingual prominence and branched filiform papillae were on the posteriorly wide area of the prominence. These papillae on the prominence had a slightly ramified CTC that differed from that of the CTC of the conical filiform papillae distributed on the anterior tongue. Dome-like fungiform papillae were distributed among the conical filiform papillae of the anterior tongue and had a CTC with a roundish structure that was almost but, not quite spherical in appearance with 1 to 10 small round concave indentations for taste buds on their upper surface. The foliate papillae had approximately 15 parallel ridges separated by grooves. These ridges contained a parallel thin plate-like CTC exhibited after removal of the epithelium. The vallate papilla was comprised of a spherical central papilla and had a circular wall with a flower-like CTC almost resembling a carnation. The stereostructure of the rabbit's filiform CTC are comparatively described as being morphologically in between those of rodents and those of the guinea pig and Japanese serow. Such evolution has probably occurred due to the species unique masticatory and gustatory needs and functions.

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