PMID: 1720691Sep 1, 1991

The nucleus tractus solitarius: neuroanatomic, neurochemical and functional aspects

Archives Internationales De Physiologie, De Biochimie Et De Biophysique
A Jean

Abstract

The nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) has long been considered as the first central relay for gustatory and visceral afferent informations only. However, data obtained during the past ten years, with neuroanatomical, biochemical and electrophysiological techniques, clearly demonstrate that the NTS is a structure with a high degree of complexity, which plays, at the medullary level, a key role in several integrative processes. The NTS, located in the dorsomedial medulla, is a structure of small size containing a limited number of neurons scattered in a more or less dense fibrillar plexus. The distribution and the organization of both the cells and the fibrillar network are not homogeneous within the nucleus and the NTS has been divided cytoarchitectonically into various subnuclei, which are partly correlated with the areas of projection of peripheral afferent endings. At the ultrastructural level, the NTS shows several complex synaptic arrangements in form of glomeruli. These arrangements provide morphological substrates for complex mechanisms of intercellular communication within the NTS. The NTS is not only the site of vagal and glossopharyngeal afferent projections, it receives also endings from facial and trigeminal nerves as ...Continue Reading

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