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Ruffini ending
Nerve ending of Ruffini.
Latin corpusculum sensorium fusiforme
Gray's subject #233 1061
MeSH [1]

The Bulbous corpuscle or Ruffini ending or Ruffini corpuscle is a slowly adapting mechanoreceptor found in the subcutaneous tissue of humans. It is named after Angelo Ruffini.


Ruffini corpuscles are enlarged dendritic endings with elongated capsules.[1]

File:Ruffini Corpuscle by Angelo Ruffini.jpg

Ruffini corpuscle from original slide sent by Ruffini to Sir Charles Sherrington[2]


This spindle-shaped receptor is sensitive to skin stretch, and contributes to the kinesthetic sense of and control of finger position and movement.[3] It is believed to be useful for monitoring slippage of objects along the surface of the skin, allowing modulation of grip on an object.

Ruffini corpuscles respond to sustained pressure[1] and show very little adaptation.[4]

Ruffinian endings are located in the deep layers of the skin, and register mechanical deformation within joints, more specifically angle change, with a specificity of up to 2 degrees, as well as continuous pressure states.They also act as thermoreceptors that respond for a long time, so in case of deep burn there will be no pain as these receptors will be burned off.[5]

Footnotes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 "8" Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology, 23rd, TATA McGraw-Hill Lange. URL accessed 9 June 2012. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Ganong" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Molnár Z, Brown RE., 2010. Insights into the life and work of Sir Charles Sherrington. Nat Rev Neurosci. 11(6):429-36
  3. Mountcastle, Vernon C. (2005). The Sensory Hand: Neural Mechanisms of Somatic Sensation, Harvard University Press.
  4. Arthur c. Guyton; John E. Hall. "47" Guyton & Hall Pocket Companion to Textbook of Medical Physiology, 10. URL accessed 9 June 2012.
  5. Hamilton, Nancy (2008). Kinesiology: Scientific Basis of Human Motion, 76–7, McGraw-Hill.

External links

  • Paré M, Behets C, Cornu O (2003). Paucity of presumptive ruffini corpuscles in the index finger pad of humans.. J Comp Neurol 456 (3): 260–6.

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