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Cutaneous receptor

cutaneous receptors, cutaneous receptor density
The cutaneous receptors are the types of sensory receptor found in the dermis or epidermis They are a part of the somatosensory system Cutaneous receptors include cutaneous mechanoreceptors, nociceptors pain and thermoreceptors temperature1


  • 1 Types
  • 2 Modalities
  • 3 Morphology
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References


The sensory receptors in the skin are:

  • cutaneous mechanoreceptors
    • Ruffini's end organ skin stretch
    • End-bulbs of Krause Cold
    • Meissner's corpuscle changes in texture, slow vibrations
    • Pacinian corpuscle deep pressure, fast vibrations
    • Merkel's disc sustained touch and pressure
    • Free nerve endings
  • thermoreceptor
  • nociceptor
  • bulboid corpusclesend bulbs of Krause receptor
  • chemoreceptor


With the above-mentioned receptor types the skin can sense the modalities touch, pressure, vibration, temperature and pain The modalities and their receptors are partly overlapping, and are innervated by different kinds of fiber types

Cutaneous receptors
Modality Type Fiber type
Touch Rapidly adapting cutaneous mechanoreceptors Meissner corpuscle end-organs
Pacinian corpuscle end-organs
hair follicle receptors
some free nerve endings
Aβ fibers
Touch & pressure Slowly adapting cutaneous mechanoreceptors Merkel and Ruffini corpuscle end-organs
some free nerve endings
Aβ fibers Merkel and Ruffini's, Aδ fibers free nerve endings
Vibration Meissners and Pacinian corpuscle end-organs Aβ fibers
Temperature Thermoreceptors Aδ fibers cold receptors
C fibers warmth receptors
Pain & Itch Free nerve ending nociceptors Aδ fibers Nociceptors of neospinothalamic tract
C fibers Nociceptors of paleospinothalamic tract


Cutaneous receptors are at the ends of afferent neurons They are usually encapsulated in elaborate cellular corpuscles Generally, they are linked to collagen - fibres networks within the capsule Ion channels are situated near these networks

In sensory transduction, the afferent nerves transmit through a series of synapses in the central nervous system, first in the spinal cord or trigeminal nucleus, depending on the dermatomic area concerned One pathway then proceeds to the ventrobasal portion of the thalamus, and then on to the somatosensory cortex2

See alsoedit

  • Sense
  • Receptor
  • Skin
  • Epithelium


  1. ^ Lincoln R J, Boxshall G A 1990: Natural history - The Cambridge illustrated dictionary Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, ISBN 0 521 30551-9
  2. ^ Mada S S 2000: Human Biology McGraw–Hill, New York, ISBN 0-07-290584-0

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Cutaneous receptor Information about

Cutaneous receptor

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