Atlas of plant and animal histology

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Virtual microscopy


Image: tongue of a rat stained with hematoxylin and eosin.

Epithelium: it is a layer of keratinized squamous stratified epithelium. Many filiform papillae are observed.

Filifirm papilla: they are specializations of the epithelium and underlying connective tissue. Filiform papillae are very abundant in the tongue. They make a harsh surface that helps to move the food in the oral cavity.

Mitotic cell: in the basal layer of the epithelium, there is an intense cellular proliferation for renewing the epithelium.

Mucous gland: these secretory cells show a light cytoplasm because their content is not stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Their nuclei are flattened and found at the basal part of the cell.

Serous gland: these secretory cells show a darker cytoplasm due to the high content of enzymes, mainly amylases. Their nuclei are more rounded and are found in a central position when compared with mucous cells.

Excretory duct: it conducts the substances released by secretory cells to the outer surface of the tongue, and therefore to the oral cavity.

Skeletal muscle: the tongue mostly consists of skeletal striated muscle cells. It is a voluntary muscle. The skeletal muscles cells are arranged in all directions and can produce very complex movements of the tongue.