Definition: a small epithelioid structure located just above the bifurcation of the common carotid artery on each side. It consists of granular principal cells and nongranular supporting cells, a sinusoidal vascular bed, and a rich network of sensory fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve. It serves as a chemoreceptor organ responsive to lack of oxygen, excess of carbon dioxide, and increased hydrogen ion concentration.
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