USMLE

Merkel Disk

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Mechanoreceptors
  1. Pacinian Corpuscle (Lamellar Corpuscle)
  2. Meissner Corpuscle (Tactile Corpuscle)
  3. Merkel Disk
  4. Ruffini Endings (Ruffini Corpuscle)

Merkel disks are a type of sensory receptors, located in the fingertips and superficial skin layers. When perturbed, these disks release vesicles filled with neurotransmitters, which then potentiate action potentials. Merkel disks are responsible for the sensation of pressure, the detection of shapes and edges, and also contribute to position sense. In addition, Merkel disks adapt slowly, which means that they can sense a static or non-moving stimulus.