The Paraneuron pp 228-234 | Cite as

Merkel Cells in the Skin

  • Tsuneo Fujita
  • Tomio Kanno
  • Shigeru Kobayashi


The cell dealt with in this chapter is distributed in the skin, either separately or in groups, mostly in the deepest layer of the epidermis. This cell is discoid, several to 10µm in diameter. It is associated with a sensory nerve terminal and is believed by many researchers, as it was by its discoverer, Merkel (1875, 1880), to be a special mechanoreceptor. Over a hundred years ago, this German histologist gave a surprisingly precise and extensive description of this cell, which he called a “Tastzelle” (tactile cell), and associated nerves in humans and animals. In honor of his achievement, the cell is now widely called the Merkel cell (Munger 1971).


Nerve Ending Sensory Nerve Terminal Myelinated Nerve Fiber Hairy Skin Neural Crest Origin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsuneo Fujita
    • 1
  • Tomio Kanno
    • 2
  • Shigeru Kobayashi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of Niigata School of MedicineNiigataJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physiology Faculty of Veterinary MedicineHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Department of AnatomyYamanashi Medical CollegeTamaho,YamanashiJapan

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