Ultramicroscopic examination of the ovine tonsillar epithelia
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
New York, N.Y.
The anatomical record: advances in integrative anatomy and evolutionary biology. - New York, N.Y.
, p. 879-889
As solid morphological knowledge of ovine tonsillar epithelia might contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of several diseases including prion diseases, the epithelia of all tonsils of 7 one-year-old Texel sheep were examined using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Major parts of the pharyngeal and tubal tonsils were covered by pseudostratified columnar ciliated epithelia that were interrupted by patches of epithelium containing cells with densely packed microfolds or microvilli, and cells with both microvilli and cilia. Smaller parts were covered by either flattened polygonal cells with densely packed microvilli or microfolds, squamous epithelial cells, or patches of reticular epithelium. The palatine and paraepiglottic tonsils were mainly lined by squamous epithelial cells with apical microplicae or short knobs. Additionally, regions of reticular epithelium containing epithelial cells with apical microvilli were seen. The lingual tonsil was uniformly covered by a keratinized squamous epithelium and devoid of microvillous cells and patches of reticular epithelium. The rostral half of the tonsil of the soft palate was lined by a pseudostratified columnar ciliated epithelium with characteristics of the pharyngeal and tubal tonsils. The epithelium of the caudal part resembled the epithelia of the palatine and paraepiglottic tonsils. Putative M cells, mainly characterized by apical microvilli or microfolds and a close association with lymphoid cells, seem manifestly present on the nasopharyngeal tonsils. The reticular epithelium of the palatine and paraepiglottic tonsils also harbor cells with small apical microvilli. The exact nature of these presumptive M cells should, however, be elucidated in functional studies.