Morphological evidence of sensory neurons in the root of the rat tongue

Erzsébet Fehér, Bayarchimeg Batbayar, Tivadar Zelles

Research output: Article

2 Citations (Scopus)


In our previous studies, a large number of substance P (SP)-immunoreactive (IR) nerve fibers were detected in the rat tongue and their number increased after inflammation, suggesting that these fibers might be involved in the axon reflex. Therefore, in this study, we have examined the different neuropeptide-containing nerve elements by light, electron, and confocal laser microscopy. SP, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), and neuropeptide Y (NPY) IR varicose fibers were numerous compared with other ones. Small groups of ganglia with perikarya IR for SP, VIP, NPY, galanin, and somatostatin were observed. The SP-IR nerve cell bodies were mainly located in the tunica propria just below the epithelial lining. Double-labeling immunohistochemistry showed that the intrinsic SP-IR neurons did not colocalize VIP. The SP containing nerve terminals were observed in and below the epithelium as well as in very close contact to or making real synapses with other neurons in the intralingual ganglion. Our data confirmed the possibility of intrinsic sensory neurons, which might be the afferent branch of the intralingual reflex arch, while the VIP- and NPY-IR neurons located in the salivary glands, around the blood vessels, and in the muscle layer might constitute the efferent site of this reflex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-853
Number of pages6
JournalAnatomical Record - Part A Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - szept. 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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