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taste budOverview

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thumbnail tongue 4x thumbnail tongue 10x
thumbnail tongue 20x thumbnail tongue 40x

In the mouse, taste buds are located on the dorsal surface of the tongue as well on the hard palate, soft palate, the epiglottis, pharynx, and larynx. The taste buds of the tongue occur within papillae (foliate, fungiform, and vallate) present in the stratified squamous epithelium of the tongue. The taste buds consist of basal cells (near the basal lamina), supporting cells, and gustatory cells (sensory or neuroepithelial cells). The gustatory cells, which can be distinguished from supporting cells with a specific staining only, have microvilli at their apical ends extending in the taste pore. At their basal ends the gustatory cells form synapses with nerves that project to the brain.

The micrographs display a taste bud located within a foliate papilla on the dorsal surface of the tongue. The 4X and 10X micrographs depict the layers of the tongue: skeletal muscle, lamina propria, squamous stratified epithelium with papillae and a taste bud. The 20X and 40X micrographs show in detail the layers of squamous stratified epithelium, the foliate papillae, and the taste bud. In the 40X micrograph the cells of the taste buds and its taste pore are visible.

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