The tongue and salivary glands are affected by aging process. This study aimed to assess the age-related structural changes of the tongue and Weber’s salivary glands in mice. Mice were grouped as adult (5.9 ± 0.5 months old) and aged (21.2 ± 0.6 months old) groups. After sacrifice, the tongues in both groups were dissected and underwent a histopathological examination using haematoxylin and eosin (Hx&E) stain, as well as morphometric analysis. The aged group exhibited thin epithelium, atrophied papillae, engorged blood vessels, disorganized myofibers and increased adipose tissue deposition. In addition, the lingual salivary gland revealed acinar cell atrophy and increased interacinar stroma. The lingual lymphoid tissue showed diffusely arranged lymphoid cells and increased stroma. Morphometrically, the aged group exhibited a significant decrease in the height and number of filiform papillae, in addition to a significant decrease in epithelial layer thickness, diameter and length of myofibers, length of myonuclei, and the number of sarcomeres. Furthermore, the aged group showed a significant increase in lamina propria/submucosal thickness, length of sarcomeres and stromal tissue percentage of the Weber’s salivary glands. Aging induces significant structural changes in the tongue and Weber’s salivary glands in mice.
Islam O. Abdel Fattah1, Wael A. Nasr El-Din1,2
1 Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
2 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain