1. Mechanical response properties of high-threshold mechanoreceptors (HTMs) of the goat oral mucosa were determined by single-unit recording from the palatine and alveolar nerves and from the trigeminal ganglion. The following observations were made. 2. HTMs of the oral mucosa could be separated into two subgroups on the basis of their threshold to mechanical stimulation. Intense pressure receptors (IPRs) comprised a group of A-delta afferents with thresholds of 2-16 g. Mechanonociceptors (MNs) comprised a group of relatively slowly conducting afferents (A-delta and C-fibers) with a higher threshold range (16-300 g). 3. In most instances, MNs lacked pressure-transducing capacity. Tests of reactivity to dynamically or statically applied stimuli revealed that significant functions were rarely fit between MN activity and pressure (4/20 cases). 4. IPRs differed from MNs by their pressure-transducing properties. The afferent response interval was in inverse proportion to the applied pressure. Significant pressure interval functions were fit in 16/20 cases. The relationship between pressure and response interval was best described by power functions. 5. Tests of reactivity to dynamically or statically applied stimuli revealed that IPRs preferred static pressure. Tighter fits and steeper slopes were observed in power functions fit to data generated by statically applied stimuli (mean fitted function, dynamic test: LnISI = -0.97 LnP + 3.4; mean fitted function, static test: LnISI = -1.6 LnP + 4.71). 6. Pressures-frequency thresholds (PFTs), asymptotes (PFAs), and mean response intervals (MRIs) were determined for IPRs from the static test series. The first two values are the pressures that produce the lower and upper limits of response frequency of mucosal HTMs (mean PFT, 1.48 N/mm2; mean PFA, 3.34 N/mm2). The MRI (28 ms) is simply computed from the function. When PFTs and PFAs are combined with activation threshold and power functions, they provide a relatively complete description of the range and form of reactivity of the IPR of the oral mucosa.
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