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The distribution and organisation of the intralingual lymphoid tissue was studied in sheep, goat and cattle. For each species, the tongues of two animals were harvested and divided in sample blocks extending over the total surface of the tongue. With 2.5 mm intervals, ten serial histological sections were made for conventional histological staining (haematoxylin-eosin, Van Gieson, Masson's trichrome) and immunohistochemical staining of lymphoid cells (anti-CD3, anti-CD21, anti-CD45). Lymphocytes were scattered in the subepithelial propria-submucosa and in the connective tissue cores of the lingual papillae. The connective tissue cores of fungiform papillae, including those located on the lingual apex, and vallate papillae showed relatively more lymphocytes than the propria-submucosa. Lymphoid cell aggregations were even more abundant beneath the grooves surrounding the vallate papillae in small ruminants. In cattle, a well-organised lingual tonsil was additionally found at the root of the tongue. CD3-positive lymphocytes were observed in all species examined. CD21-positive lymphocytes were numerous in the lymphoid nodules of the bovine lingual tonsil but very scarce in the ovine and caprine tongues. Therefore, the lymphoid cell aggregations in the tongues of small ruminants should not be referred to by the term 'lingual tonsil'.
Address of authors: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Morphology, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Anatomia, histologia, embryologia
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