Ectopic lamellar Pacinian corpuscle within the thymus. Atypical or abnormal location?

Vol. 61 No. 1, 2020

ROMANIAN JOURNAL of MORPHOLOGY and EMBRYOLOGY

Ivan Varga, Matej Nosal, Pavel Babal

Lamellar (Pacinian) corpuscle is a cutaneous encapsulated sensory corpuscle, mainly functioning as a rapidly adapting low-threshold mechanoreceptor with characteristic onion skin-like appearance. Even though the Pacinian corpuscle is typically located in the skin, histomorphologically and confirmed by using immunohistochemical methods, we have identified it within the interstitium of the thymus of a newborn with congenital heart defect. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such account ever to be published. The structure of the thymic Pacinian corpuscle was the same as the Pacinian corpuscle in the skin. The ectopic thymic Pacinian corpuscle can be hypothetically explained as the consequence of impaired migration of neural crest cells, since neural crest-derived cells play an important role in the development of the Pacinian corpuscle, as well as the thymus and heart. In general, the occurrence of ectopic Pacinian corpuscle in different organs is rare. In the scientific literature, there are reports of its sporadic presence in the pancreas, in the lymph nodes, inside the prostate and the urinary bladder wall. Our report presents the first described case of the Pacinian corpuscle in a heterotopic location in the thymus. Similar to other incidental findings of this anatomic structure, explanation of its ectopic development, as well as its local function remains only speculative.

Corresponding author: Ivan Varga, Professor, PhD; e-mail: ivan.varga@fmed.uniba.sk

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.61.1.33 Download PDF