During the last decade skin biopsy has been confirmed as a tool to provide diagnostic information on some
peripheral neuropathies. Most studies were focused on intraepithelial nerve fibers and few studies have investigated large
myelinated fibers or whether corpuscles in human skin change quantitatively or qualitatively in pathologies of the
peripheral or central nervous system. The main objective of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of
Meissner’s corpuscles including their distribution, density and age changes, development, molecular composition, cellular
anatomy and physiology. We also describe their involvement in several pathologies and suggest including this dermal
structure in the routine study of skin biopsies, looking for changes to be used as potential markers for several disorders.
Finally the article draws the main aspects of how to study Meissner’s corpuscles in skin biopsies and gives a view on
future perspectives for implementing their use in clinical practice.
Keywords: Meissner’s corpuscles, skin biopsy, neuropathy, guidelines, intraepithelial, myelinated fibers, cellular anatomy, phosphorylated neurofilaments, immunoreactivity, Schwann cells
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