Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the morphological structure of white albino mice lingual mucosa at the ultra structural level by scanning electron microscopy. Specimens taken from tongue of mice in different developmental stages (prenatal, postnatal, young and adult) and examined after technical procedures.
Results: Our results show that the tongue of these mice has a number of unique morphological features that are different from the tongue of other rodents consequently to allow identifying their speciesspecific features. In fetuses (prenatal stage), the tongue surface showed thickening of epithelium appear as undifferentiated papillae. In newborn (postnatal stage), rudiments of more differentiated papillae begin to appear. In young stage, further differentiation of the epithelium rudiments into developed papillae and this continued to mature in adult stage in which taste buds were observed.
Conclusion: Our findings have shown the features of the tongue structure of white albino mice at the ultra structural level in different developmental stages. The data analysis revealed that mucous membrane of the tongue contains large number of papillae that appear in different stages. Gustatory papillae (fungiform, foliate and vallate) appear in early stages while mechanical ones (filiform and multifilamentary) appear later, each of these papillae has a different shape, size and location. With the advancement of growth, three types of filiform papillae appeared as small-finger like projections with rounded tips associated with much more keratinization of their free ends, well developed foliate and multifilamentary papillae that appear in adult stage. As well as one large and similar smaller circum vallate papillae. The gustatory fungiform papillae appear at early stages of development and were more differentiated gradually till adult stage.
However, we have received data for a complete picture of structure of this organ that will be useful in further experimental and morphological studies of white albino mice.
Keywords: Albino mice, lingual mucosa, papillae, scanning electron microscopy, tongue