The cells of vallate, foliate and fungiform papillae were studied in insectivore hibernating bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) in the various epochs of the year in order to show cell types the seasonal changes. On the basis of the ultrastructural aspects and the relationships with nerve endings, besides the few basal cells, three types of sensorial cells can be identified: dark type I cells, light type II cells and light type III cells. All gustatory cells, long and narrow shaped, extend from the epithelial basal lamina to the gustatory canal, where they send long microvillous expansions of the apical cytoplasm. These expansions, except those of the fungiform papillae which never extend beyond the lower two thirds, usually reach the external opening of the taste pore, always completely void of dense substance. Dark type I cells are characterized by a developed RER and large granules. Light type III cells show peculiar dense core light vesicles, labelled protein A-gold particles immunoreactive to 5-HT. These cells only in the foliate and fungiform papillae also have bundles of microtubules whose function is still unknown. After comparative evaluation and discussion of topographical and ultrastructural aspects with those of other mammals and humans, the Authors states that bats are provided with a valid gustatory system and that all cell types are involved in taste transduction.
Sulla fine struttura delle cellule gustative delle papille circumvallate, foliate e fungiformi di pipistrelli ibernanti / Arcari, Maria Luisa; Galanti, Gabriella; Azzali, Giacomo. - In: ACTA BIO-MEDICA DE L'ATENEO PARMENSE. - ISSN 0392-4203. - 67:1-2(1996), pp. 5-31.
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