Document Detail

Scanning electron microscopic observation of Merkel cells in the lamprey epidermis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11577439     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The Merkel cell in the epidermis has generally been regarded as a mechanoreceptor which detects tissue deformations with its microvilli, and subsequently releases certain transmitters to nerve endings. In order to analyze the mechanism of mechanoreception, the fine structure of lamprey Merkel cells and their relationships with surrounding tissue were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) after exposure of the cells by NaOH maceration, as well as by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) according to a conventional method. By SEM, lamprey Merkel cells revealed small round cell bodies bearing numerous microvilli on the upper and lower poles in accord with previous TEM reports. Combined SEM and TEM observations showed that the Merkel cell bodies were tightly held in corresponding concavities of other epidermal cells, with some desmosomes connecting the cells with each other. On the other hand, microvilli of the Merkel cells extended freely in intercellular spaces bound with complex microplicae of epidermal cells. The regional difference in mechanical anchorage of the Merkel cells probably leads to transient deflection and subsequent recovery of their microvilli during a given mechanical stimulation, suggesting rapidly adapting mechanoreception by the cells.
H Takahashi-Iwanaga; K Abe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Kaibogaku zasshi. Journal of anatomy     Volume:  76     ISSN:  0022-7722     ISO Abbreviation:  Kaibogaku Zasshi     Publication Date:  2001 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-10-01     Completed Date:  2001-12-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0413526     Medline TA:  Kaibogaku Zasshi     Country:  Japan    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  375-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anatomy, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita-15, Nishi-7, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Epidermis / cytology*
Lampreys / anatomy & histology*
Mechanoreceptors / physiology
Merkel Cells / physiology,  ultrastructure*
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning Transmission

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