Structure, Function and Control: Afferent Nerve Endings in the Skin

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


The skin is an important sensory structure concerned with the physical nature of our immediate environment (e.g. its temperature or roughness) and its own internal state (e.g. the degree of stretch or the presence of inflammatory chemical agents). In Sects. C—E the structure and function of the specialised nerve endings concerned with innocuous mechanical stimuli (Sect. C), with innocuous temperature changes (Sect. D) and with noxious, potentially or actually damaging, stimuli (Sect. E) will be considered in turn. Most of our knowledge of the function of cutaneous nerve endings has been deduced from recordings from afferent nerve fibres some distance from the receptor endings themselves. The fibre composition of cutaneous nerves will thus be considered first in Sect. B. Finally, Sect. G will consider what is currently known about the responses of cutaneous receptors to drugs.


Receptive Field Cutaneous Nerve Afferent Nerve Ending Glabrous Skin Pacinian Corpuscle 
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  • B. Lynn

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