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Ultrastructure of Lingual Papillae in Common Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Foetus, Newborn and Adult Specimens

Pastor, J. F., Barbosa, M., De Paz, F. J., San José, I., Levanti, M., Potau, J. M., Vega, J. A., Cabo, R.
Anatomia, histologia, embryologia 2017 v.46 no.5 pp. 431-438
Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, adulthood, adults, fetus, food intake, humans, keratinization, longevity, neonates, scanning electron microscopy, taste, tongue, ultrastructure, young animals
Among primates, the two recognized species of chimpanzees (common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes; pygmy chimpanzee, Pan paniscus) are considered to be the most similar to humans. Importantly, in mammals, the food intake behaviour largely determines the tongue morphology, including the type, proportion and distribution of gustatory and non‐gustatory tongue papillae. The lingual papillae form during its development and mature in post‐natal life depending on the different feeding. In this study, we have used scanning electron microscopy to analyse the age‐related changes in the lingual papillae of foetal, newborn and adult P. troglodytes. Four main types of lingual papillae, denominated filiform, fungiform, foliate and vallate, and one subtype of filiform papillae called conical papillae, were found. The main age‐related changes observed in all kinds of papillae were a progressive keratinization and morphological complexity along the lifespan. During the foetal period, there was scarce keratinization, which progressively increases in young animals to adulthood. The number of filiform increased with ageing, and both filiform and fungiform papillae in adult tongues are divided into pseudopapillae. On the other hand, the vallate papillae vary from smooth simple surfaces in foetal tongues to irregular surfaces with grooves and pseudopapillae (microscopic papilla‐shaped formations within the papilla itself) in adults. These results describe for the first time the age‐related variations in the three‐dimensional aspect of lingual papillae of the chimpanzee tongue and provide new data to characterize more precisely these structures in the human closest specie.