Corpuscle Explained

Corpuscle Explained

The Latin term corpuscŇ≠lum is the diminutive of corpus, which translates as “body”. It came to our language as a corpuscle: a very small fragment of matter.

The concept is often used in the realm of biology. Meissner ‘s corpuscles (also known as touch corpuscles), for example, are nerve endings found in the skin that allow light touch to be felt. They are named after their discoverer, the physician Georg Meissner, born in Germany in 1829 and dedicated to the study of histology and anatomy.

If the vibrations they receive are less than 50 Hz, the sensitivity of the Meissner corpuscles is the highest of all those found in our body, that is, their response threshold is the lowest. In other words, they are considered receptors capable of being activated in a very short time.

According to, the structure of the Meissner corpuscles is made up of flattened cells that are arranged in the form of horizontal lamellae surrounded by connective tissue. A fiber of ribs can also be seen winding through these elements. The dimensions of these corpuscles are negligible: their length averages 85 microns and their diameter 50.

Pacinian corpuscles, on the other hand, are those sensory receptors found in the skin that react to deep pressure or rapid vibration. They are in the group of five mechanoreceptors discovered by the human being, that is, sensory receptors that emit a reaction if they receive a distortion or mechanical pressure.

The connective tissue capsule of Pacinian corpuscles is highly developed and its length is measured in millimeters. As in the case of Meissner’s corpuscles, it is also made up of several layers of flattened cells; each of them is separated from the others by means of amorphous material and collagen fibers.

Each Pacinian corpuscle has a corresponding fiber that loses its Schwann and myelin sheaths. Its adaptation is fast and its response occurs only at the beginning and at the end of the mechanical deviation, as well as before high-frequency vibrations. Two parts in which we can find them are the reticular dermis and the subcutaneous connective tissue, especially in the foot and hand.

Ruffini’s corpuscles are also located in the skin, whose function is to perceive changes in temperature that are related to heat and leave a record of the stretching that the skin suffers, since it is continuously deformed.

Ruffini’s corpuscles are found in the deep dermis of the face and the back of the hands, and are especially sensitive to these changes in temperature. With regard to its structure, its center is dilated and its termination is nervous.

Hassal’s corpuscles are cell groups that are distributed in the thymus, an organ of the immune system. That is why they are also called thymic corpuscles.

The renal corpuscle, which as its name implies is found in the kidney, consists of Bowen’s capsule and the glomerulus. Bowen ‘s capsule resembles a sac that is responsible for surrounding the glomerulus (a network formed by capillaries).

Barr’s corpuscles are located in somatic cells belonging to females of certain species. Its formation develops when the sexual chromatin found on one of the X chromosomes condenses.

Birds, meanwhile, have bulbous corpuscles located in the papillae of the tongue and beak. Each corpuscle is a capsule with a membrane and at least one pair of granule cells.