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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 6 - Nervous Tissue

Plate 6.123 Meissner's Tactile Corpuscle

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Finger tip

Plate 6.123 Meissner's Tactile Corpuscle

Human, formalin, H. & E., 56 x.
Cynamologus monkey, glutaraldehyde-osmium,
toluidine blue, 854 x.

Meissner's* corpuscles are located in the dermal papillae of skin and are usually in contact with the basal cells of the epithelium. They are surrounded by a thin connective tissue sheath. Nerve terminals within the corpuscle are not seen with this method. Tactile corpuscles are common in hairless (glabrous) parts of the skin, but they are most numerous in the finger tips, palm of the hand, and sole of the foot.

Meissner's corpuscles are rapidly adapting mechanoreceptors that subserve discriminative touch sensations.

Dermal papillae are formed from the superficial dermis and are composed of collagenous connective tissue. The papillae contain, in addition to Meissner's corpuscles and their myelinated axons, so-called free nerve endings and capillary blood vessels, which, along with sweat glands, play an important role in temperature regulation in man.

Note the sweat gland duct within an epiderminal peg (ridge) and its coiled glandular portion, seemingly unattached, deep in the dermis.

See Plate 138.

*Meissner was a nineteenth-century German histologist.

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