Structure of taste buds in foliate papillae of the rhesus monkey, Macaca mulatta

Albert I. Farbman, Göran Hellekant, Adrienne Nelson

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Taste buds in foliate papillae of the rhesus monkey were examined by electron microscopy. Three distinct cell types were identified. Type I cells were narrow elongated cells containing an oval nucleus, bundles of intermediate filaments, several Golgi bodies, and characteristic apical membrane‐bounded dense granules. These cells exhibited morphological variations: some had a moderately dense cytoplasm, perinuclear free ribosomes, and flattened sacs of rough endoplasmic reticulum; others had a more lucent cytoplasm, dilated irregular rough endoplasmic reticulum, lysosome‐like dense bodies, and lipid droplets. Type II cells typically contained a spherical, pale nucleus, a prominent nucleolus, supranuclear and infranuclear Golgi bodies, mitochondria with tubular cristae, and one or two centrioles. This cell type, too, showed some variation in the relative amounts of ribosomes and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which varied inversely with each other. Type III cells were characterized by a clear apical cytoplasm essentially devoid of ribosomes and containing microtubules. In a few type III cells, the peri‐ and infranuclear regions contained many ribosomes and some rough endoplasmic reticulum. In most Type III cells, there were large numbers of dense and clear vesicles in the peri‐ and infranuclear regions; some of the vesicles were grouped in synapse‐like arrangements with adjacent nerves. The morphological variations exhibited by all three cell types could be accounted for by age differences in each of the cells. This would be consistent with the notion that cell renewal occurs in each of the three cell populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Anatomy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1985


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