A normal anatomical structure, considered of neuroepithelial origin, first described in 1885 by JH Chievitz, a Danish anatomist.
Located bilateral, within the soft tissue overlying the angle of the mandible in the buccotemporal space.
A small fusiform structure, interposed between the fascia buccotemporalis and pterygoid muscles.
Innervated by branches of the buccal nerve.
It is believed to represent an anlage of the parotid gland.
Mechanosensor in the lateral wall of the oral cavity involved in deglutition, sucking, mastication, and speech
Abundant enzyme activity similar to that found in ductal cells of salivary glands (alkaline phosphatase and carbonic anhydrase activity)
Neurosecretory function (presence of intracellular neurosecretory granules)
Might be influenced by buccal nerve and pituitary gland
Size and Weight
0.7–1.7 cm in length and 0.1–0.2 cm in width.
Grossly not visible. By dissecting microscope, it appears to be a flat, white solid strand of tissue resembling a nerve.
The circumscribed, multilobulated epithelial nests rest on a basement membrane and are located both around and within nerves. The epithelial cells resemble nonkeratinizing squamous epithelial cells or columnar–glandular-like cells with clear cytoplasm. The clear central cells stain positive within the periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) reaction. The outer, smaller cells may have a basaloid appearance.
The epithelial nests are surrounded by an organized connective tissue, divided into three layers: stratum fibrosum internum (thin, dense collagen, few elastic fibers), stratum nervosum (middle layer, loose connective tissue rich in myelinated and nonmyelinated nerve fibers), and stratum fibrosum externum (envelops the entire organ, connected to fascia buccotemporalis). Within the connective tissue layers, mast cells, lymphocytes, and melanin-containing cells are present.
Central epithelial cells cytokeratin positive (CK19, CK10, CK14); outer, more basaloid cells negative.
Positive for vimentin and EMA (weakly).
Negative for S-100, GFAP (glial fibrillary protein), and neuroendocrine markers (chromogranin, synaptophysin, neuron-specific enolase).
References and Further Reading
- Chievitz, J. H. (1885). Beitrage zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Speicheldrusen. Virchows Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medizin, 9, 401–436.Google Scholar