Innervation of the Human Incisive Papilla: Comparison with Other Oral Regions

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Immunohistochemistry for several neurochemical substances was performed on the human incisive papilla and other oral structures. Sodium channel alpha subunit 7 (SCN7A) protein-immunoreactive (IR) Schwann cells and protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5)-IR nerve fibers made nerve plexuses beneath the epithelium of the palate, including the incisive papilla, tongue, and lip. SCN7A immunoreactivity could also be detected in lamellated and nonlamellated capsules of corpuscle endings. Lamellated SCN7A-IR corpuscle endings were mostly restricted to the mucous and cutaneous lips. These endings had thick and spiral-shaped PGP 9.5-IR axons without ramification. Nonlamellated SCN7A-IR corpuscle endings were most numerous in the incisive papilla among the oral regions. On the basis of axonal morphology, the nonlamellated endings were divided into simple and complex types. PGP 9.5-IR terminal axons in the simple type ran straight or meandered with slight ramification, whereas those in the complex type were densely entangled with abundant ramification. Substance P (SP)-, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-, and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 2 (TRPV2)-IR varicose fibers were rarely seen beneath the epithelium of oral structures. The present study indicates that the human incisive papilla has many low-threshold mechanoreceptors with nonlamellated capsules. SP-, CGRP-, and TRPV2-containing nociceptors may be infrequent in the incisive papilla and other oral regions.

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