Mechanoreceptors of the achilles tendon: A histomorphological study in pigs with clinical significance for humans
Kapetanakis, Stylianos N.
Givissis, Panagiotis K.
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Introduction: Tendons contain neurosensory elements called mechanoreceptors which contribute to the neuromuscular system as sources of reflex signals. The literature is lacking in histological assessment of mechanoreceptors of the Achilles tendon in piglets and our aim was to indicate their types, location and quantity. Methods: The study was performed using histological tissue samples from the Achilles tendon of ten healthy pigs, five left, five right, six males, four females. The samples were taken up to 12 hours after death. Immediately after removal, the tendons were placed in the laboratory where sections were taken and examined microscopically. The tendons were stained with the gold chloride method. Results: The results showed that Golgi tendon organs, free nerve endings and Pacinian-like corpuscles were found in the Achilles tendon of pigs. Most structures were near the osteotendinous and myotendinous junctions, away from the middle portion of the tendon. Conclusion: As shown in other studies and similarly in ours, mechanoreceptors tend to be close to the distant thirds and not in the middle third of the tendon. This study could have clinical application on human Achilles tendon and its repair after damage. Level of evidence: