Decrease in the numbers of mechanoreceptors in rabbit ACL: the effects of ageing

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2006 Apr;14(4):325-9. doi: 10.1007/s00167-005-0673-2. Epub 2005 Aug 19.


It is proposed that there is a positive correlation between the numbers of mechanoreceptors and proprioceptive function. On the other hand, normal aging process is associated with deficits in proprioception. This study is designed to test the hypothesis that aging resulted in decreased numbers of mechanoreceptors. Anterior cruciate ligaments of 14 male rabbits (2 months, n=5; 12 months, n=4 and 60 months, n=5) were extracted and the total numbers of Ruffini, Pacini and Golgi tendon-like receptors were accounted. As a result, the numbers of mechanoreceptors, especially Ruffini receptors, decreased with aging (p<0.05). Increased age was associated with changes in the morphology of mechanoreceptors. In conclusion, aging results in both diminished numbers and changed morphology of mechanoreceptors.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / innervation*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Gold Compounds
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors / anatomy & histology*
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology
  • Models, Animal
  • Pacinian Corpuscles / anatomy & histology
  • Pacinian Corpuscles / physiology
  • Proprioception / physiology
  • Rabbits


  • Coloring Agents
  • Gold Compounds
  • gold chloride