Palatoglossus muscle

Palatoglossus Muscle

Muscle Less

Palatoglossus muscle

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The palatoglossus, glossopalatinus, or palatoglossal muscle is a small fleshy fasciculus, narrower in the middle than at either end, forming, with the mucous membrane covering its surface, the glossopalatine arch.

It arises from the anterior surface of the soft palate, where it is continuous with the muscle of the opposite side, and passing downward, forward, and lateralward in front of the palatine tonsil, is inserted into the side of the tongue, some of its fibers spreading over the dorsum, and others passing deeply into the substance of the organ to intermingle with the Transversus linguæ.


Elevates posterior tongue, closes the oropharyngeal isthmus, and aids initiation of swallowing.


The palatoglossus is the only muscle of the tongue that is not innervated by the hypoglossal nerve (CN XII). It is innervated by the Vagus nerve (CN X)

But some sources state that the palatoglossus is innervated by fibres from the cranial part of the accessory nerve (CN XI) that travel via the pharyngeal plexus.

Other sources state that the palatoglossus is not innervated by XI hitchhiking on X, but rather it is innervated by X via the pharyngeal plexus formed from IX and X.Chapter 8 Head and Neck. In: Drake RL, Vogl W, Mitchell AWM, editors....
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