Histology of the Organs of Smell and Taste

Histology of the Organs of Smell and Taste

Follow protocol Notebook Illustrations

Slide 12. Olfactory epithelium (H 1042), ( MF 9th, page 237, 249)

The olfactory mucosa is a pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium located in the superior-most region of the nasal cavity, and contains bipolar olfactory cells whose cilia are embedded in mucus. Chemicals which dissolve in the mucus trigger responses in these cilia which initiate a nervous impulse, interpreted in the brain as an odor. Supporting cells surround the olfactory cells. Mucus-producing Bowman’s glands are embedded in the lamina propria. This connective tissue is richly vascularized. Some slides have portions of the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone included.

Olfactory membrane, 40x

Olfactory membrane 100x

Here is a labeled view of the olfactory epithelium
Olfactory epithelium and underlying lamina propria, 100x:
olfactory epithelium: 
olfactory cells (with deep nuclei)
supportive cells (with superficial nuclei)
surface mucus
(looks like a line above surface)
lamina propria:
glands of Bowman (serous)
ducts of these glands
[The ethmoid bone is present on some slides, appearing blue.]

Olfactory epithelium and underlying lamina propria, 100x:
Showing details of glands in the lamina propria


Olfactory epithelium, 400x
Note the prominent stereocilia


Olfactory epithelium, 400x
opening of a ducts through the epithelium

Slide 13: Tongue, taste buds rabbit (70771), ( MF 9th, page 157)

Taste transducing cells are located in taste buds which line the sides of papillae located on the tongue. Microvilli on the surface of the transducing cells react with sweet, salty, acidic or bitter substances to generate a nervous impulse, interpreted in the brain with its specific taste. (Remember that flavor combines taste and odor.) Make two illustrations on the same page one at 100x and one at 400x:

taste buds, 40x

Edge of tongue, showing papillae and striated muscle, 40x

Here is a labeled view of the taste bud papillae
Taste Bud Papillae: 100x:
fungiform papilla
stratified squamous epithelium
taste buds
taste pore
excretory duct [fr. serous alveoli]
nerve tracts
striated muscle
circular furrow (“trench” between papillae)

Here is a labeled version of the taste bud, Verhoef Stain, 400x, .
a Taste Bud: ( MF 9th, page 159), 400x:
taste buds
taste pore
taste hairs (microvilli)
lingual mucosa (surrounds buds)
lamina propria

Slide 10: Vater-Pacini corpuscles, pancreas, H-eosin (H 1688)
Pressure detection: Pacinian Corpuscles in the pancreas: Pacinian corpuscles are specialized nerve endings which detect pressure and vibration in an organ.


Here is a labeled view of Pacinian corpuscles.
Pacinian Corpuscles (MF 9 th: page 229 and 147) at 100x:
Pacinian corpuscle:
connective tissue capsule
central cavity with numerous lamellae (with flattened nuclei)
naked dendrite
pancreatic acini


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