The lamellar cells in human Meissner corpuscles express TrkB

Neurosci Lett. 2010 Jan 4;468(2):106-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.10.076. Epub 2009 Oct 29.


Cutaneous Meissner corpuscles depend for development and survival exclusively on the NT system TrkB/BDNF/NT-4 unlike other types of sensory corpuscles and nerve endings, which have very complex neuronal and growth factor dependence. However, the pattern of expression of TrkB in human Meissner corpuscles is not known. The experiments in these studies were designed to pursue further findings that suggest that BDNF and NT-4 have critical roles in the development and maintenance of Meissner corpuscles by analyzing the pattern of expression of TrkB, their high-affinity receptor, in human glabrous skin. These experiments showed that TrkB is expressed in different patterns by the lamellar cells of Meissner corpuscles and not by the axon. The studies also show that while the percentage of Meissner corpuscles that express TrkB remains constant from birth till 50-year old cases, it decreases approximately 3-fold in subjects older than 50 years. These results are important since the study of Meissner corpuscles from cutaneous biopsies to diagnose some neurological diseases has rapidly become of high interest and therefore the proteins expressed in these corpuscles are potential diagnostic tools.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fingers
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors / cytology
  • Mechanoreceptors / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptor, trkB / biosynthesis*
  • Skin / innervation


  • Receptor, trkB