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Am J Vet Res. 1993 Nov;54(11):1840-4.

Sensory receptors in the equine foot.

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Department of Anatomy, and Large Animal Clinical Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1316.


Two types of sensory receptors were located in the equine foot, using anatomic techniques. Histologic examination of stained hoof sections revealed lamellated corpuscles in the hoof dermis, which had many of the morphologic characteristics of Pacinian corpuscles. These sensory receptors were restricted to the palmar (caudal) aspects of the solar dermis of the heel. A second type of receptor was detected by use of immunocytochemistry, indicating apparently naked nerve endings containing the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide-like immunoreactivity in skin, solar dermal tubules, and the digital cushion. This peptide is an example of a sensory neurotransmitter contained in dorsal root ganglion cells and is believed to exist only in unmyelinated sensory nerve fibers. These 2 morphologic structures may be used for detection of sensory stimuli, such as pressure (or vibratory senses) and pain, respectively, in horses during various locomotory gaits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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