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Anat Histol Embryol. 2009 Feb;38(1):42-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0264.2008.00890.x.

Characteristics of filiform, fungiform and vallate papillae and surface of interface epithelium-connective tissue of the maned sloth tongue mucosa (Bradypus torquatus, Iliger, 1811): Light and Scanning Electron Microscopy Study.

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Department of Surgery of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


The study of lingual surfaces and the surface of interface epithelium-connective tissue of the tongue of Bradypus torquatus was performed by employing the light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. The results revealed that the rostral part of the tongue presents a round apex and covered by filiform and fungiform lingual papillae and a ventral smooth surface. It was observed that the epithelial layer of the dorsal surface possesses the basal, spinosum, granular and cornified epithelial cells. The lamina propria is characterized by a dense connective tissue forming the long, short and round papillae. Numerous typical filiform papillae are located especially in the rostral part intermingled for few fungiform papillae, which were revealed in three-dimensional SEM images. Usually, the fungiform papillae are located in the border of rostral apex of the tongue exhibiting the rounded form. They are covered by keratinized epithelial cells. In the fungiform papillae, several taste pores were observed on the surface. The vallate papillae presented numerous taste buds in the wall of epithelial cells, being that the major number of taste buds is located on the superior half of vallate papilla. The taste pores are surrounded by several laminae of keratinized epithelial cells. The samples treated with NaOH solution and examined by SEM revealed, after removal of the epithelial layer, the dense connective core in original disposition, presenting different sizes and shapes. The specimens stained with Picrosirius and examined by polarized light microscopy revealed the connective tissue, indicating the collagen fibres type I and type III.

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