HISTOLOGY OF SENSORY and MOTOR NERVE ENDINGS Dra.

Matheus

o Before traversing the basement membrane of an epithelium, it becomes unmyelinated Once it passes through the lamina, it breaks into branches that end in knob-like expansions (called TERMINAL BOUTON) HAIR FOLLICLE NERVE ENDINGS a. Receptors for touch b. Location: wind around the follicles in its outer connective tissue sheath below the sebaceous gland i. Some branches run parallel along its axis ii. Many naked axon filaments terminate among cells of the outer root sheath c. Description: similar to free nerve endings MERKEL’s TACTILE DISCS a. Receptors for touch b. Location: (+) epidermis of skin, layers of stratified epithelia & borders of the tongue c. Description: nerve fibers pass into the epidermis & terminates as disc-shape expansion i. Disc-shaped expansion is applied closely to the dark staining epithelial cell (merkel cell) in the deeper part of the epidermis ii. In hairy skin, clusters of merkel’s disc (TACTILE dome) are found in the epidermis b/w hair follicle

As the nerve fiber enters the capsule, it becomes unmyelinated branches that end in neuropodia

SENSORY NERVE ENDINGS (RECEPTORS)
Nerve endings w/c convert stimuli from external or internal environment into afferent nerve impulses Afferent impulses pass into the CNS & initiate voluntary/ involuntary responses

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SENSORY RECEPTORS Functional Classification: A. EXTEROceptors a. Respond to stimuli from outside the body b. Receptor for touch, light pressure & deep pressure, cutaneous pain, temp., smell, taste, sight B. PROPRIOceptors a. Located within the skeletal system b. Provides conscious & unconscious information about orientation, skeletal position, tension of movement c. Receptors: i. Vestibular apparatus of the ear ii. Tendon organs iii. Neuromuscular spindles C. INTEROceptors a. Respond to stimuli from the viscera b. Receptors: i. Chemoreceptor of blood ii. Vascular (pressure) baroreceptor iii. Receptor for the state of distention of hollow viscera (GIT, UB) SENSORY RECEPTORS Structural Classification (poorly understood) A. SIMPLE receptors (NON-encapsulated) a. Free, branched/unbranched nerve endings b. Responsible for cutaneous pain & temp. c. Rarely visible with light microscopy i. Need special staining methods B. COMPOUND receptors (Encapsulated) a. Involve non-neural tissues complementing neural receptors b. Degree of organization: encapsulated to highly sophisticated arrangements as in the eye & ear c. *Eye & Ear receptors & receptors for smell & taste  described as organs of special sense NON-ENCAPSULATED 1. FREE NERVE ENDINGS a. Receptors for pain b. Locations: (+) skin, cornea, alimentary tract & most connective tissues c. Description: afferent nerve fibers from free nerve endings are either myelinated or unmyelinated
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MEISSNER’s CORPUSCLE Receptor for light discriminatory touch Location: dermal papillae of the skin of palms & soles, tips of fingers & toes, nipples, eyelids & genitalia Description: small & oval o Consists of delicate capsule surrounding a mass of oval, plump cells arranged traversely (specialized Schwann cells) o Myelinated branches of large myelinated sensory fibers ramify throughout the cell mass in a helical manner RUFFINI’s CORPUSCLE Receptor for hot sensation Location: deep in the skin or even subQ tissue of the fingertips & toes Description: Robust, spindle-shaped structure o Have a thin capsule w/ a crumpled appearance o (+) core of granular cytoplasm, connective tissue fibers & fluid capsule o As nerve fibers enters the capsule, it becomes unmyelinated & branches off ending into neuropodia KRAUSE END BULB Receptor for cold sensation Location: lining of oropharynx & conjuctiva of the eyes, external genitalia, tendons & ligaments Description: Spherical or oval o Capsule is lamelated containing flattened connective tissue cells & fibers surrounding a central cavity  inner bulb o Within the inner bulb, unmyelinated fibers give off a number of branches w/c twist & interlace forming a spherical mass  glomerulus o Simplest end bulbs are found in the connective tissue of external genitalia  called genital corpuscles NEUROMUSCULAR SPINDLES (MUSCLE SPINDLES) Receptors for stretch reflex (muscle spindles) Location: parallel to muscle fibers, embedded in endomysium or perimysium Description: Lymph-filled, fusiform structures up to 6mm long but less than 1 mm in diameter o Each spndle contains 2-10 modified skeletal muscle fibers called intrafusal fibers o Intrafusal fibers are smaller than skeletal muscle fibers proper (extrafusal fibers) o Intrafusal fibers have a central non-striated area where the nuclei are concentrated

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ENCAPSULATED NERVE ENDINGS 1. VATER PACINIAN CORPUSCLE – biggest receptor o Receptor for deep pressure (coarse touch), vibration & tension o Location: deep layers of the skin, ligaments & joints capsules, mesenteries & serous membranes, viscera & erogenous areas o Description: 1-4 mm long; in section, it appear like an onion o Consists of: o Delicate capsule (enclose concentric lamellae of flattened cells/ modified Schwann cells) o Interstitial fluid spaces o Collagen fibers o As nerve fiber enters the capsule, becomes a single layer unbranched non-myelinated fiber w/ several dub-like terminals (NEUROPODIN) 2. o o o GOLGI MAZZONI CORPUSCLE Receptor for touch Location: similar to pacinian corpuscle Description: resemble pacinian corpuscles except they are smaller & their capsule are thinner o Abundant granular core of protoplasm

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(2) types of intrafusal fibers o Nuclear bag fibers – central nuclear are is dilated o Nuclear chain fibers – no dilatation & nuclei are arranged in a single row (2) types of sensory receptors: o ANNULOSPIRAL endings – branched nonmyelinated endings of large, myelinated sesory fibers wrap around the central non-striated area of intrafusal fiber o FLOWER-SPRAY endings – smalle, myelinated nerve fibers located on the striated portions of the intrafusal fibers NEUROTENDINOUS ORGAN OF GOLGI (TENDON SPINDLE) Receptor for stretch (proprioception) Location: found in the junctions of muscles & tendons Description: resembles muscle spindles except that collagenous tendon fibers from intrafusal tendon (2) forms: o SIMPLE NAKED nerve fibers & its branches spread on the surface of collagen bundles; may give rise to pain sensations o COMPOSITE – tendon spindles consist of several tendon fascicle surrounded by a capsule supplied by myelinated nerve endings

At the site of the motor-end plate, the surface of the muscle fiber is elevated slightly to form the neuromuscular element of the plate (also known as sole plate) o Sole plate contains numerous nuclei & mitochondria

MOTOR NERVE ENDINGS IN SMOOTH MUSCLE  Non-myelinated post ganglionic autonomic nerves terminates as a series of branches  At site of transmission, the Schwann cell is retarded; part of the axon thus is naked, permiting free diffusion of the transmitter from axon to muscle cell MOTOR ENDINGS IN CARDIAC MUSCLE  Non-myelinated postganglionic autonomic nerves extended into connective tissue b/w muscle fibers & terminate in close proximity to individual cardiac muscle fibers  At the site of transmission, axon becomes naked coz’ of retraction, permiting free diffusion of the transmitter from axon to muscle cell  (+) desmosomes & gap janctions causes excitation & contraction of one muscle fiber to rapidly spread from fiber to fiber.

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MOTOR NERVE ENDINGS
MOTOR NERVE ENDINGS IN SKELETAL MUSCLE (3) Types of motor fibers: 1) LARGE ALPHA MYELINATED FIBERS – supply extrafusal fibers that form the main mass of the muscle 2) SMALL GAMMA MYELINATED FIBERS – supply the intrafusal fibers of the neuromuscular spindles 3) FINE, UNMYELINATED FIBERS – are postganglionic autonomic efferents that supply the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels MOTOR UNIT defined as the single alpha motor neuron & the muscle fibers that is innervated

NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION/ MOTOR-END PLATE  As each alpha myelinated nerve fiber enters a skeletal muscle, it branches many times  A single branch terminates on a muscle fiber at a site called neuromuscular junction/ motor end plate  On reaching the muscle fiber, the nerve fibers loses its myelin sheath & breaks up into a number of branches  Each branch ends as a naked axon & forms the neural element of the motor end plate o Axon slightly expanded-contains vesicles & mitochondria
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