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Detty Iryani
Bagian Fisiologi Fakultas Kedokteran Unand

Kuliah Pengantar Blok 1.2. Sistem Organ 1 TA 2015/2016

The Autonomic Nervous System
• Peripheral Nervous System
– Somatic NS
– Autonomic NS
• Sympathetic
• Parasympathetic
• The involuntary part of the PNS
– Operates without conscious control
• Primary function is to maintain homeostasis
The Autonomic Nervous System
• Controls the following:
– Smooth muscle of the blood vessels;
– Abdominal and thoracic viscera;
– Certain glands; and
– Cardiac muscle.
• Serves an important role in maintaining:
– Heart rate
– Blood pressure
– Breathing
– Body temperature
The Autonomic Nervous System
• Dual Innervation of the ANS
• The sympathetic division of the ANS is
responsible for readying the body for
strenuous physical activity or emotional
• Fight or Flight Response
– Prepares the body to deal with disturbances
to homeostasis (threatening situations)
Anatomy of the ANS

• The ANS consists of efferent pathways

• Each efferent pathway contains 2 neurons
that are arranged in series to each other
• Provides communication between the
CNS and the effector organ
Anatomy of the ANS
• Autonomic Ganglia
– Provide communication pathways via synapses between
• Preganglionic Neurons
– Travel from the CNS to the ganglia
• Sympathetic chain ganglion,
• Collateral ganglion, or
• Parasympathetic ganglion
• Postganglionic Neurons
• Neurons that travel from the ganglion to the
effector organ
• Axon of 1st (preganglionic) neuron leaves CNS to
synapse with the 2nd (ganglionic) neuron
• Axon of 2nd (ganglionic) neuron extends to the
organ it serves

Diagram contrasts somatic (lower) and autonomic:

this dorsal r
oot ganglion
is sensory


Sympathetic Nervous System
Thoracolumbar Division
– Arises from the ventral roots of all thoracic spinal nerves
– Arises from the ventral roots of lumbar spinal nerves 1-3
• Preganglionic Neurons
– Originate in the Lateral Horn of the spinal cord
– Cell bodies are located in the thoracic and upper lumbar
regions of the spinal cord
– Short Myelinated Axons
• Postganglionic Neurons
– Synapse with preganglionic neurons in the Sympathetic
Chains (Trunks)
– Long Unmyelinated Axons
Sympathetic Nervous System
• Sympathetic Chains (Trunks)
– Where preganglionic and postganglionic neurons
synapse in the Sympathetic NS
• Comprised of sympathetic nerves that are
connected to a string of nerve cell bodies
– Called the Sympathetic (Paravertebral) Chain Ganglia
• These interconnected ganglia are located
close to the spinal cord
– Far away from the structures it innervates
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Craniosacral Division
– Arises from the cranial nerve nuclei in the brain stem
– Arises from the ventral roots of sacral spinal cord
• Preganglionic Neurons
– Those originating in the cranial nerve nuclei travel with axons of
cranial nerves and terminate in ganglia near the effector organ
– Those originating in the sacral spinal cord synapse with other
parasympathetic preganglionic neurons to form pelvic nerves
that terminate near the effector organ
– Long Myelinated Axons
• Postganglionic Neurons
– Travel to the effector organ
– Short Unmyelinated Axons
Mixed Composition of ANS Nerves
• Both systems function utilizing two neurons
that communicate through a ganglion
• Preganglionic nerve fibers arise in the CNS
– Myelinated axon leaves the CNS as part of a cranial
nerve or spinal nerve
– Travels to an autonomic nervous system ganglion
• Preganglionic nerve fibers synapse with the
postganglionic nerve fibers in the ganglion
• Postganglionic nerve fibers travel to the appropriate
effector organ
Effects of the ANS
• The two divisions have opposite effects
on the organs and structures innervated
• Sympathetic Nervous System
– Acetylcholine = neurotransmitter at the
synapse with the ganglion
– Norepinephrine = neurotransmitter at the
synapse with the effector organ
• Parasympathetic Nervous System
– Acetylcholine = neurotransmitter at both
Effects of the ANS
• Cholinergic Neurons • Adrenergic Neurons
– Release Acetylcholine
• Cholinergic Receptors – Release Norepinephrine
– Nicotinic receptors
• Excitatory
• Adrenergic Receptors
• Opens Na+ and K+ channels – Alpha receptors
– Muscarinic receptors • Excitatory
• Excitatory or Inhibitory
• Uses G-proteins to open specific – Beta receptors
ion channels
• Excitatory or Inhibitory
Effects of the ANS
• The sympathetic division generally
produces a whole body response when
– The overall function of the sympathetic division is
the fight or flight response.
• The parasympathetic division generally
produces a single response at a specific
effector organ.
– The overall function of the parasympathetic divisi
on is rest and repair.
Comparison: Somatic and Autonomic Nerv
ous Systems
Visceral sensory system

Gives sensory input to

autonomic nervous system

Visceral sensory neurons
• Monitor temperature, pain, irritation, chemical changes and
stretch in the visceral organs
– Brain interprets as hunger, fullness, pain, nausea, well-being
• Receptors widely scattered – localization poor (e.g. which part
is giving you the gas pain?)
• Visceral sensory fibers run within autonomic nerves, especially
vagus and sympathetic nerves
– Sympathetic nerves carry most pain fibers from visceral organs of
body trunk
• Simplified pathway: sensory neurons to spinothalamic tract to
thalamus to cerebral cortex
• Visceral pain is induced by stretching, infection and cramping
of internal organs but seldom by cutting (e.g. cutting off a
colon polyp) or scraping them

Referred pain: important to know
Plus left shoulder,
from spleen

Pain in visceral organs is often

perceived to be somatic in
origin: referred
to somatic regions of
body that receive
innervation from the
same spinal cord segments

Anterior skin areas to which pain is refer

red from certain visceral organs 22
Visceral sensory and autonomic neurons
participate in visceral reflex arcs
• Many are spinal reflexes such as defecation and

• Some only
involve peripheral
neurons: spinal
cord not involved
(not shown)*
Central control of the Aut Amygdala: main limbic
region for emotions
onomic NS
-Stimulates sympathetic activity, es
pecially previously learned fear-rela
ted behavior
-Can be voluntary when decide to
recall frightful experience - cerebral
cortex acts through amygdala
-Some people can regulate some a
utonomic activities by gaining extra
ordinary control over their emotion

main integration center

Reticular formation:
most direct influence
over autonomic function