Nerve fiber analysis for the lingual nerve of the human adult subjects

Surg Radiol Anat. 2006 Mar;28(1):59-65. doi: 10.1007/s00276-005-0037-0. Epub 2006 Feb 11.


The neuro-motor control of the human tongue musculature had not been investigated in detail. This study identified first that the lingual nerve should play the neuro-motor control of some lingual muscles. Six en bloc samples (12 sides), including the tissues from the skull base to the hyoid bone, and three whole tongues were obtained from adult human cadavers. The former samples were used for the study of nerve fiber analysis of the lingual nerve with the aid of binocular stereomicroscope, and the latter samples were used for histological study by serial section method. On nerve fiber analysis of the lingual nerve from the trigeminal ganglion to the tongue musculature, we found that the motor- root of the trigeminal nerve gave off its supply to the lingual nerve and traveled into the lingual nerve, and branched to the superior and the inferior longitudinal muscles. On histological study, it was revealed that in the anterior part of the tongue the superior and the inferior longitudinal muscles surrounded the other lingual musculature and combined with the sub-mucosal connective tissues closely like the cutaneous muscle, for example, the facial muscles. The lingual nerve entered the inner side of the space between the genioglossus and the inferior longitudinal muscles with the lingual artery. These findings suggested that the superior and the inferior longitudinal muscles should be innervated by the motor fibers traveled into the lingual nerve from the motor root of the trigeminal nerve, and do not originate from the myotome originating in occipital somites but branchial muscles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cadaver
  • Humans
  • Hypoglossal Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Lingual Nerve / anatomy & histology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Fibers*
  • Tongue / innervation
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / anatomy & histology