The relationship of the number of Meissner's corpuscles to dermatoglyphic characters and finger size

J Anat. 2001 Nov;199(Pt 5):577-84. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-7580.2001.19950577.x.


This study investigated the relationships between the density of Meissner's corpuscles and the dermatoglyphic characteristics of human fingers. Dermatoglyphic prints and tissue samples were collected from the index (II) and ring (IV) fingers of 28 cadavers from the Medical School, University of Adelaide. Pattern types, pattern intensity, total ridge count and ridge breadth, were determined for each sample and the density of Meissner's corpuscles established by recording the mean number of Meissner's corpuscles underlying a 10 mm long line on the skin surface. No relationship was found between the density of Meissner's corpuscles and pattern type, pattern intensity or total ridge count. Negative correlations were found for the density of Meissner's corpuscles with both ridge width and size of fingers. Males were found to have significantly larger fingers, larger ridge breadth, and a lower density of Meissner's corpuscles per 10 mm compared with females. However, there was no difference between the total number of Meissner's corpuscles per finger in males and females. No significant differences were found in either the density of Meissner's corpuscles between antimeres or between the index and ring fingers. These results suggest that for both the left and right hand in males and females, there is a similar number of Meissner's corpuscles for both the index and ring fingers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Dermatoglyphics*
  • Female
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology*
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors / anatomy & histology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors