Myelin basic protein-positive nerve fibres in human Meissner corpuscles


José A. Vega, Departamento de Morfología y Biología Celular, Facultad de Medicina, C/Julián Clavería, s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain. E:


Myelinated nerve fibres forming sensory corpuscles become amyelinic before entering the corpuscle. Interestingly, in Meissner corpuscles from monkey myelin basic protein (MBP), a specific component of myelin sheath co-localized with neuronal markers. To investigate whether or not this also occurs in human digital Meissner corpuscles, we used single and double immunohistochemistry to detect MBP associated with axonic (protein gene product (PGP) 9.5) or Schwann and Schwann-related cell (S100 protein) markers. We also studied these markers in Pacinian corpuscles. Nerve fibres immunoreactive for MBP were detected in about 25% of the Meissner corpuscles examined; however, MBP never co-localized with PGP 9.5 and MBP occasionally co-localized with S100 protein. MBP-immunoreactive fibres associated with Meissner corpuscles were observed at the periphery of the lamellar cells or within the corpuscle between the lamellar cells. These results describe the distribution of myelinated nerve fibres expressing MBP in human Meissner corpuscles, which is important when studying Meissner corpuscles in cutaneous biopsies used for the diagnosis of peripheral and degenerative neuropathies.