The sensory innervation of the shoulder joint of the mouse

Ann Anat. 1996 Apr;178(2):173-81. doi: 10.1016/S0940-9602(96)80040-9.


The ultrastructure and location of sensory nerve endings in the shoulder-joint capsule, its tendinous reinforcements and in the periarticular connective and muscle tissue have been studied by means of light and electron microscopy in adult female white NMRI-F2 laboratory mice, aged 2.5-13 months. Most of the sensory nerve endings were detected in the fibrous layer of the joint capsule or in the inserting tendons. The identified lamellated corpuscles of the Pacini type are small and sometimes associated with Golgi tendon-organs. Large Vater-Pacini corpuscles were not detected. Ruffini corpuscles are found in small numbers only in the moderately dense connective tissue of the joint capsule. Golgi tendon organs were found mainly at the muscle-tendon junction of the muscles surrounding the joint. Muscle spindles have been identified mainly in periarticular muscles close to the muscle-tendon junctions. The number and distribution of the different types of mechanoreceptors investigated in the present study suggest that periarticular corpuscular sensory nerve endings play an important role in shoulder-joint control and mobility. The occurrence of small uniformly shaped lamellated corpuscles of the Pacini type in qualitatively different areas of surrounding tissue implies that they are susceptible to different kinds of mechanical stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / cytology*
  • Afferent Pathways / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Connective Tissue / innervation*
  • Female
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Nerve Endings / ultrastructure*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / ultrastructure*
  • Schwann Cells / ultrastructure
  • Shoulder Joint / innervation*
  • Tendons / innervation*