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Location And Morphology Of Parasympathetic Preganglionic Neurons In The Sacral Spinal Cord Of The Cat Revealed By Retrograde Axonal Transport Of Horseradish Peroxidase

I. Nadelhaft, W. Degroat, C. Morgan
Published 1980 · Biology, Medicine

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The distribution and morphology of preganglionic neurons in the sacral parasympathetic nucleus (SPN) of the cat have been studied with the horseradish peroxidase (HRP) tracing technique. HRP applied to the cut pelvic nerve was identified in cells located ipsilaterally, primarily in the intermediate gray matter. They formed a column approximately 10 mm long, usually contained within two, but occasionally three, sacral segments. S2 contained a majority of cells. In transverse sections the SPN had the appearance of an inverted “L.” Cells were medium‐sized, oval or spindle‐shaped, and transversely oriented. They were distributed among two major components and one minor one: (1) dorsal band (34%) located mainly in lamina V beneath the dorsal horn (cells and dendrites horizontally oriented), (2) lateral band (64%) along the lateral edge of the gray matter in laminae VII through V (cells oriented dorsoventrally with dendrites extending within the nucleus and into the dorsolateral funiculus), and (3) a small group (2%) of cells at the rostral end of the SPN in lamina VII in the middle of the ventral horn. These data coupled with the results of other investigations indicate that the SPN has a viscerotopic organization wherein the colon is innervated primarily by cells in the dorsal band and the urinary bladder is innervated primarily by cells in the lateral band.
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