Anat Cell Biol.  2020 Sep;53(3):325-329. 10.5115/acb.20.105.

Re-evaluation of the distribution of Meissner’s corpuscles in human skin

  • 1Department of Anatomy, Graduate School, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea


Meissner’s corpuscles are generally considered to be located in the dermal papilla of hairless skin on the fingers, toes, palms, soles, lips, eyelids, nipples, and genital organs. We used hematoxylin and eosin staining to examine the distribution of Meissner’s corpuscles in skin tissues of the fingertips, palms, lips, nipples, and labia majora and minora obtained from cadavers. Many Meissner’s corpuscles were observed in the dermal papilla of the fingertips, whereas the palms had only 20% as many. Meissner’s corpuscles were rare in the lips, nipples, and external genital organs, which have relatively high two-point discrimination. Because Meissner’s corpuscles are rapidly adapting mechanoreceptors, they may quickly detect changes in tactile sensation, including two-point discrimination, in the movable glabrous skin. In conclusion, Meissner’s corpuscles might be rare in non-movable glabrous skin compared to the fingertips and palms.


Mechanoreceptors; Distribution; Skin; Two-point discrimination
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