Structure and function of the somatosensory system: A neurotoxicological perspective

J. C. Arezzo, H. H. Schaumburg, P. S. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The somatosensory system comprises those elements of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS) subserving the modalities of touch, vibration, temperature, pain and kinesthesia. Specific modalities can be associated with unique peripheral receptors, peripheral axons of stereotyped diameter and specific central projection pathways. Several features of the somatosensory system render regions of it vulnerable to a wide variety of toxicants. The present report highlights these features and, furthermore, suggests that analysis of these regions is invaluable in studying the three most common varieties of toxic neuropathy: toxic distal axonopathy, toxic myelinopathy and toxic sensory neuronopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
VolumeVol. 44
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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