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June 17, 1961


JAMA. 1961;176(11):944-945. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040240050018

The traditional medical school explanation of cutaneous sensations is no longer satisfactory. While it relates touch sensation to Meissner corpuscles, heat to Ruffini end-organs, sold to Krause end-bulbs, and pressure to Vater-Pacini corpuscles, no specific evidence for this has ever existed. Now new histologic and histochemical techniques have demonstrated a different and simple spectrum of nerve endings in the skin, characterized by remarkable similarities to each other.1 The dermal nerve network, the hair follicle nerve network, the mucocutaneous end-organ, the Meissner corpuscle, and the Vater-Pacini corpuscle are the nerve endings in the human skin which have morphologic distinctness. Almost all the nerve tissue of the dermis is found in the dermal and hair follicle nerve networks. The three more specialized "organized" endings are found only in the transitional zones between hairy and nonhairy skin, and in the distal grasping surfaces.

A basic pattern is common to the dermal nerve