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Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions$
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Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith and Anthony J. M. Verberne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306637.001.0001

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Parasympathetic Preganglionic Neurons

Parasympathetic Preganglionic Neurons

(p.120) 7 Parasympathetic Preganglionic Neurons
Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions

David Jordan

Oxford University Press

Parasympathetic preganglionic neurons, which have cell bodies in the brainstem and spinal cord, are the source of all parasympathetic outflow. Consequently, these neurons are important sites for central autonomic integration and modulation. This chapter describes the properties of preganglionic neurons of the different parasympathetic outflows, including their location, anatomical organization, synaptic inputs, and properties. The chapter focuses on vagal preganglionic neurons, highlighting the aspects of their organization that are likely to be common to other parasympathetic outflows and emphasizing major developments since 1990. The chapter also discusses data showing that central regulation of parasympathetic preganglionic outflows is highly complex and organized so that the overall autonomic output is appropriate for the response required in any particular situation. It also presents evidence that parallel systems mediate autonomic behavioral and endocrine responses.

Keywords:   dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, nucleus ambiguus, sacral spinal cord, vagus, cardiac regulation, gastrointestinal regulation, airways regulation, amino acid neurotransmitters, monoamine neurotransmitters, neuropeptides

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