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Palatoglossus Muscle
Muscular System

Palatoglossus Muscle

Musculus palatoglossus

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Quick Facts

Origin: Palatine aponeurosis.

Insertion: Lateral aspect of tongue.

Action: Elevates tongue; brings palatoglossal arches together.

Innervation: Pharyngeal plexus (CN X).

Arterial Supply: Ascending palatine and ascending pharyngeal arteries.

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The palatoglossus muscle originates from the superior aspect of the palatine aponeurosis, where it interdigitates with its contralateral counterpart (Standing 2016).


The palatoglossus muscle runs in an anteroinferior direction away from the midline, anterior to the palatine tonsil, to insert into the side of the tongue.

Some fibers of the palatoglossus muscle may spread over the dorsal aspect of the tongue, while others run deep and blend with the muscle fibers of the intrinsic transverse muscle (Standring, 2016).

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The palatoglossus muscle and its overlying mucosal layer form the palatoglossal arches (palatoglossal fold or anterior pillar/column of fauces) on either side of the oropharynx.


The palatoglossus muscle elevates the tongue at the root and constricts fauces by bringing the palatoglossal arches together (Standring, 2016).


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Palatoglossus Muscle

ScienceDirect image

The palatoglossus muscle functions to close off the oral cavity from the oropharynx by elevating the posterior tongue and drawing the soft palate inferiorly.

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