Ultrastructure of Tonsil
Dr. T. Balasubramanian M.S. D.L.O.
The tonsil is made up of a mass of
lymphoid follicles within a fine connective tissue matrix. The
lymphocytes are less closely packed in the centre of each nodule,
otherwise known as the germinal centre, because multiplication of
lymphocytes take place here. Medial surface of the tonsil, facing
the oral cavity is characterised by 15 - 20 openings, irregularly
spaced. These openings lead to deep, narrow and blind ended
recess known as crypts. These crypts may penetrate nearly the
whole of the tonsil. This feature distinguishes it from other
lymphoid organs. The mucous membrane covering the medial surface
of the tonsil is of non - keratinizing stratified type. It dips
down to line the crypts.
These crypts may contain desquamted epithelial
debris and cells. The largest of the crypts known as the crypta
magna is present close to the superior pole of the tonsil. This
is thought to represent the persistent part of the ventral portion of
the second pharyngeal pouch.
Fig showing crypta magna of tonsil
Fig showing histology of tonsil
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