USMLE Step 1 Review 02 16 Anatomy Salivary Glands

USMLE Step 1 Review 02 16 Anatomy Salivary Glands


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Let’s continue our USMLE Review with Anatomy from the Gold Standard USMLE Step 1 Audio Review program.

Play USMLE Audio MP3 02 16 Anatomy Salivary Glands Below


Begin 02 16 Anatomy Salivary Glands Transcription

Let’s move on to the sublingual and submandibular salivary glands.

The parasympathetic fibers which tell the sublingual and submandibular glands to put out saliva come originally from what nerve? 

  • The facial nerve, CN VII.

And what branch of CN VII, the facial nerve, carries these parasympathetic fibers to the branch of CN V that will eventually take them to the sublingual and submandibular glands?

  • The chorda tympani nerve.

Now, the chorda tympani nerve carrying these parasympathetic fibers joins with what branch of what division of CN V?

  • It joins with the lingual nerve of the mandibular division.

And what ganglion is hanging further down off of the lingual nerve where the parasympathetic fibers from CN VII are going to synapse and then send postganglionic sympathetic fibers to the sublingual and submandibular glands?

  • It’s called the submandibular ganglion.

Finally, what artery runs through both the submandibular and then the sublingual glands?

  • The lingual artery.

The lingual artery is a branch from what artery?

  • The external carotid artery.

How do the sympathetic fibers get to the submandibular gland and sublingual gland?

  • They travel along the lingual artery.

How do they get to the lingual artery?

  • They actually travel down the external carotid artery. These are postganglionic sympathetic fibers of course.

And where is the ganglion for them?

  • The superior cervical sympathetic ganglion.

And again, what structure is the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion?

  • The internal carotird artery.

Alright, we’re almost done with the salivary glands.  I said earlier that the sympathetic stimulation of the salivary glands shuts down salivary production.  That’s not exactly correct.

What is actually produced by the salivary glands with sympathetic stimulation?

  • A small amount of thick mucus.

And what is produced by the salivary glands with parasympathetic stimulation?

  • A large amount of watery saliva.

Which of the saliva glands secretes the saliva that is the most watery?

  • The parotid glands.

What is in higher concentrations in the saliva from the submandibular and sublingual glands that make it more viscous?

  • Higher concentration of proteins.

In addition to the salivary glands, there are very small glands located in the tongue.

What do they secrete? 

  • Lingual lipase.

And, what is the action of the lingual lipase in the mouth, stomach, and upper portions of the small intestine?

  • To initiate breaking down the ingested fats.



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