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Title: Anatomical mapping and density of merkel cells in skin and mucosae of the dog
Authors: Ramírez, Gustavo A.
Rodríguez, Francisco 
Quesada, Óscar 
Herráez, Pedro 
Fernandez, Antonio 
Espinosa-de-los-Monteros, Antonio 
UNESCO Clasification: 3109 Ciencias veterinarias
Keywords: Density
Merkel cell
Issue Date: 2016
Journal: Anatomical Record 
Abstract: Merkel cells (MCs) are specialized cutaneous receptor cells involved with tactile sense. Although the distribution of MCs has been extensively studied in humans and rodents, their precise distribution and density throughout skin in the dog has not previously been determined. Knowledge of their distribution could facilitate understanding of their functions. By using of immunohistochemistry, density, and anatomical mapping of the MCs population in the dog skin was determined. Assessment of the MCs innervation was also achieved. Different patterns were noted in epidermis, hair follicles, or mucosa, including variable-sized clusters, linear or horse-shaped arrangements, and scattered and individualized cells. MCs revealed great variations in density and distribution over the body surface, with the highest numbers in oral mucosa and facial skin. There was no correlation of MCs density with age, sex, type of breed, coat type or pigmentation. Between 41 and 65% of MCs in hairy and glabrous skin and 8–18% of MCs in oral mucosa were in intimate contact with intraepithelial axon terminals. These findings indicate that canine MCs are numerous in sensory receptive areas and may be associated with the tactile sense in the dog. The present article enhances the knowledge of the skin structure in this species.
ISSN: 1932-8486
DOI: 10.1002/ar.23387
Source: Anatomical Record[ISSN 1932-8486],v. 299, p. 1157-1164
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