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The dermis contains the majority of free afferent nerve endings originating in the skin. Their role is to transduce peripheral stimuli; they include thermoreceptors and nocioceptors. Alternatively, afferents are also sited around hair follicles, serving as mechanoreceptors. For all these sensory neurones, the cell body lies within the dorsal root ganglion.
Efferent autonomic nerves have ganglia of more variable position and supply blood vessels, arrector pili muscles and sweat glands.