European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 1 - Number 2
Eur J Anat, 1 (2): 97-103 (1997)

Immunohistochemical analysis of mechanoreceptors in the human posterior criciate ligament

M.E. Del Valle1, A. Maestro2-3, A. Murcia2,3, S.F. Harwln4, and J.A. Vega1

l.Departamento de Morfología y Biología Celular, Universidad de Oviedo. Spain 2.Departamento de Cirugía, Universidad de Oviedo. Spain 3.Servicio de Ortopedia y Traumatología. Hospital de Cabueñes, Güón. Spain 4.Orthopaedic Department, Beth Israel Medical Center North Division. New York, USA

ABSTRACT In order to analyse the possible role of the human posterior cruciate ligament (PCO in knee proprioception, its innervation was studied in surgical and autoptic samples using immunohistochemical techniques. In PCL from normal knees nerve fibers were found to form free nerve endings, simple lamellar and Pacini­ like corpuseles, Ruffini's corpuseles, and Krause-like corpuseles. The same kinds of sensory corpuseles were found in PCL from degenerative knees. In both cases corpuseles were primarily localizad in the periligamentous synovial tissue. On the other hand, typical Pacini corpuseles and Golgi tendon-líke organs were encountered in the fibular collateral ligament but not in the PCL. Typically, the main constituents of these sensory receptors were immunoreactive for: 1) neurofilament proteins in the central axon; 2) S100 protein and vimentin in the periaxonal Schwann­ related cells, 3) vimentin and epithelial mern­ brane antigen in the capsular cells, when present. These findings demonstrate that the human PCL posseses both low and rapidly adapting -morphologically defined- sensory corpuseles which most likely serve as proprioceptors involved in maintenance of normal knee kinematics. Furthermore, results show that the immunohistochemical profile of PCL sensory corpuseles was almost identical to that of cutaneous sensory corpuseles.

Keywords: Mechanoreceptors, proprioception, immunohistochemistry, ligament.

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)