Free nerve ending


Free nerve ending

A free nerve ending (FNE) is an unspecialized, afferent nerve ending, meaning it brings information from the body's periphery to the brain. They function as cutaneous receptors and are essentially used by vertebrates to detect pain.

tructure

Free nerve endings are unencapsulated and have no complex sensory structures, unlike those found in Meissner's or Pacinian corpuscles. They are the most common type of nerve ending, and are most frequently found in the skin. They penetrate the epidermis and end in the stratum granulosum.

Types

Free nerve ending have different rate of adaptation, stimulus modalities and fiber types.

Rate of adaption

Different types of FNE can be rapidly adapting, intermediate adapting, or slowly adapting. Aδ fibres are fast-adapting, while C fibers are slowly adapting.

Modality

Free nerve endings can detect temperature, mechanical stimuli (touch, pressure, stretch) or pain (nociception). Thus, different free nerve endings work as thermoreceptors, cutaneous mechanoreceptors and nociceptors. In other words, they express polymodality.

Fiber types

The majority of Aδ (A delta) fibers (group III) and C (group IV) fibers end as free nerve endings.

External links

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* [http://www-medlib.med.utah.edu/pain_center/education/outlines/noci_transduc.html Nociception: Transduction] . From the University of Utah.

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*" [http://www.mfi.ku.dk/ppaulev/chapter3/kap.3.htm Textbook in Medical Physiology And Pathophysiology: Essentials and clinical problems.] " Copenhagen Medical Publishers. 1999 - 2000

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* [http://faculty.ncwc.edu/ddaley/B232%20Somatosensory%20sys.htm Somatosensory System] from Dr. Daley of North Carolina Wesleyan College.


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