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Tongue: Papillae and Taste Buds - Practice Questions & MCQ

Edited By admin | Updated on Sep 18, 2023 18:34 AM | #NEET

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Tongue: Papillae and Taste Buds
  • The tongue is the voluntary musculo-sensory and glandular structure.
  • It occupies the floor of the mouth.
  • A fold of mucous membrane on the underside of the tongue is called the lingual frenulum.
  • It attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
  • An inverted V-shaped furrow called sulcus terminalis divides the tongue into two parts:
    • Anterior oral part
    • Posterior pharyngeal part
  • At the apex of the sulcus terminalis, a small pit is seen. It is called the foramen caecum.
  • It is the remnant of the upper part of the thyroglossal duct (site of thyroid gland origin)
  • The top and sides of the tongue are studded with papillae.
  • There are four types of papillae, three of them are present in humans.
    • Fungiform papillae cover a large area of the tongue. They contain 8-10 taste buds in each papilla.
    • Filiform papillae are long and thin. These are located at the centre of the tongue. They have touch receptors that help the tongue move food around in the mouth.
    • Circumvallate papillae are the largest papillae present at the base of the tongue. These are around 8-10 in number and each one of them bears around 200 taste buds.
    • Foliate papillae are present in rabbit and absent in humans.
  • The pharyngeal part of the tongue does not have papillae but have irregular lymph nodes called lingual tonsils.

Taste Buds:

  • A taste bud is a modified epithelial cell.
  • It has a small cavity-like opening to the surface through a gustatory pore. 
  • Each taste bud contains several specialized taste cells (gustatory receptor cells) for the transduction of taste stimuli.
  • These receptor cells release neurotransmitters when certain chemicals in ingested substances (such as food) are carried to their surface in saliva. 
  • Neurotransmitter from the gustatory cells can activate the sensory neurons in the facial and glossopharyngeal cranial nerves.

Diagram of Taste bud is shown below :



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