Presentation Title

Age-Related Changes in Tongue Tissue Morphology Following Lingual Nerve Transection

Advisor Information

Suzanne Sollars

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

7-3-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

7-3-2014 4:00 PM

Abstract

Taste is a chemical sense utilized by many species as a means to evaluate a substance before ingestion. Taste information from a substance is communicated from taste buds to the brain through the chorda tympani nerve. The individual taste buds are located within mushroom-shaped protrusions on the tongue called fungiform papillae. These papillae also send information to the brain, which is somatosensory in nature. The somatosensory information is transmitted along the lingual nerve. The chorda tympani and lingual nerves have no overlap in the papillae or taste buds. Previously, it was observed in rats that severing the chorda tympani nerve early in development causes changes to the papillae, despite the fact that there are no known connections between this specific nerve and the papilla structure. The purpose of this study was to further investigate these nerves and their relationship with the papillae and taste bud structures. In this study, the lingual nerve was severed in rats of differing age groups, then tongue tissue from these animals was collected and sectioned to a thickness of 10m. The tissue was then stained and microscopically analyzed to determine potentially differing taste bud volumes. These volumes were calculated using the program Neurolucida. It was shown that severing the lingual nerve in all age groups affects taste bud volumes, and the severity of these effects differed between animals at different developmental stages. This provides more information about the relationship between the chorda tympani and lingual nerves and suggests the presence of cross-modal communication between them.

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Mar 7th, 1:00 PM Mar 7th, 4:00 PM

Age-Related Changes in Tongue Tissue Morphology Following Lingual Nerve Transection

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Taste is a chemical sense utilized by many species as a means to evaluate a substance before ingestion. Taste information from a substance is communicated from taste buds to the brain through the chorda tympani nerve. The individual taste buds are located within mushroom-shaped protrusions on the tongue called fungiform papillae. These papillae also send information to the brain, which is somatosensory in nature. The somatosensory information is transmitted along the lingual nerve. The chorda tympani and lingual nerves have no overlap in the papillae or taste buds. Previously, it was observed in rats that severing the chorda tympani nerve early in development causes changes to the papillae, despite the fact that there are no known connections between this specific nerve and the papilla structure. The purpose of this study was to further investigate these nerves and their relationship with the papillae and taste bud structures. In this study, the lingual nerve was severed in rats of differing age groups, then tongue tissue from these animals was collected and sectioned to a thickness of 10m. The tissue was then stained and microscopically analyzed to determine potentially differing taste bud volumes. These volumes were calculated using the program Neurolucida. It was shown that severing the lingual nerve in all age groups affects taste bud volumes, and the severity of these effects differed between animals at different developmental stages. This provides more information about the relationship between the chorda tympani and lingual nerves and suggests the presence of cross-modal communication between them.