Tongue Papillae

The filiform papillae  are one of the four types of lingual papillae, small prominences on the surface of the tongue. The filiform papillae are thin, long “V”-shaped cones that don’t contain taste buds but are the most numerous, covering most of the dorsum (upper surface). These papillae are mechanical and not involved in gustation.

They are small and arranged in lines parallel to the V-shaped row of circumvallate papillae, except at the tip of the tongue where they are aligned transversely. Projecting from their apices are numerous filamentous processes, or secondary papillae. These are of a whitish tint, owing to the thickness and density of the epithelium of which they are composed. This epithelium has undergone a peculiar modification as the cells have become cornified and elongated into dense, imbricated, brush-like processes. (from wikipedia)

Photograph Steve Gschmeissner, Science Photo Library/Photo Researchers, Inc. (Source)

Cone-shaped tongue papillae, seen here in a colored scanning electron micrograph, contain nerve endings that receive and transmit touch sensations to the brain. As we begin chewing, the tongue shapes food in a ball-shaped bolus for swallowing.

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