The sensory nerve ending in the Pacinian corpuscle is surrounded by a non-nervous capsular structure which occupies about 99.9 per cent of the corpuscle's entire mass. After extirpation of practically all of the non-nervous structure, the sense organ's remains continue to function as a mechano-receptor, namely to produce generator and all-or-nothing potentials in response to mechanical stimuli. Compression of the first intracorpuscular node of Ranvier abolishes the production of "all-or-nothing" potentials in the corpuscle. Graded generator potentials constitute then the only response to mechanical stimulation. This reveals that the first node is the site of origin of the all-or-nothing potential and that the non-myelinated ending is incapable of producing all-or-nothing responses in response to mechanical stimulation. Compression of the entire length of non-myelinated ending suppresses the production of generator potentials. Partial compression of the ending abolishes mechano-responsiveness only of the compressed part. The intact remains of the ending continue to give generator potentials upon mechanical stimulation. This suggests that the generator potential arises at functionally independent membrane parts distributed all over the non-myelinated nerve ending. 24 to 36 hours after denervation of the corpuscle by transection of its sensory axon, no sign of electric activity is detected. Failure of mechano-reception at the nerve ending precedes that of conduction at the degenerating myelinated axon.
THE SITES FOR MECHANO-ELECTRIC CONVERSION IN A PACINIAN CORPUSCLE
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Werner R. Loewenstein, Raquel Rathkamp, With the Assistance of I. Zamudio; THE SITES FOR MECHANO-ELECTRIC CONVERSION IN A PACINIAN CORPUSCLE . J Gen Physiol 20 July 1958; 41 (6): 1245–1265. doi: https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.41.6.1245
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