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August 1957

The Mucocutaneous End-Organ: The Primary Organized Sensory Ending in Human Skin

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;76(2):225-235. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550200069015

The regions of transition between haired skin and mucous membranes are well known for their exquisite sensory perception. The lip, the eyelid, the perianal region, and the external genitalia are such glabrous intermediate zones of heightened sensitivity. A verified pattern of innervation and function has been derived from observation of these regions. It is the purpose of this study to demonstrate the special structure of the sensory end-organs in this type of skin and to show the fundamental relationship between these nerve endings and the other neural structures of the human integument. When the term "end-organ" is used, it implies organization or special morphologic arrangement of nerve structures.

Review of the Literature

End-bulbs, or "terminalkörperchen," were described originally by Krause,1 in 1858, who macerated the tissues in acetic acid before microscopic examination

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