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Section of a Fungiform Papilla

In the center of the field is a fungiform papilla (A). To either side are filiform papillae (B). Fungiform papillae are roughly mushroom-shaped. Their apical surface is not initially keratinized. The capillaries in the connective tissue core (C) show through the more translucent surface. This gives them their reddish appearance when identified on the tongue of younger individuals.

The surrounding filiform papillae exhibit heavy keratinization (D) of their tips. This layer prevents underlying vasculature in their core from showing through, giving them a more opaque (whitish) appearance on the dorsum of the tongue.


A - fungiform papilla
B - filiform papillae

C- connective tissue core
D - keratinized layer on filiform tip

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