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Light and Electron Microscope Studies on the Nasopharynx and Nasopharyngeal Tonsil of the Horse

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Light and electron microscope studies were conducted on the nasopharynx and the nasopharyngeal tonsil of 15 young horses. The nasopharynx and nasopharyngeal tonsil was lined with pseudostratified columnar ciliated epithelium and goblet cells. The lymphoepithelium of the nasopharyngeal tonsil was folded forming crypts, the mucosa of which was modified into follicle associated epithelium characterized by stratified cuboidal epithelium, loss of cilia, absence of goblet cells and infiltration of lymphocytes. The lamina propria mucosae of the nasopharyngeal tonsil contained well-developed lymphoid tissue and clusters of seromucus acini. Scanning electron-microscopy revealed a dense mat of cilia covering the nasopharynx and nasopharyngeal tonsil. The follicle-associated epithelium consisted of different populations of microvillus cells in addition to M cells with very short microvilli and a few squamous and intermediate cells. Microvillus cells in the deeper part of the FAE had larger microvilli and their cytoplasm contained a dense population of mitochondria, smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes and lysosomes. The flat surfaced M cell had a more electron-dense cytoplasm and contained small supranuclear vacuoles in addition to the organelles seen in microvillus cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY-40546–0099, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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