The Autonomic Nervous System | Human Physiology | PPT Download

December 18, 2012 | By | Reply More

The Autonomic Nervous System | Human Physiology | PPT Download

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The Autonomic Nervous System


Neural Control of Involuntary Effectors

Autonomic nervous system (ANS):

Innervates organs whose functions are not usually under voluntary control.

Effectors include cardiac and smooth muscles and glands.

Effectors are part of visceral organs and blood vessels.


Autonomic Neurons

2 neurons in the efferent pathway.

1st neuron has its cell body in gray matter of brain or spinal cord.

Preganglionic neuron.

Synapses with 2nd neuron within an autonomic ganglion.

Postganglionic neuron.

Autonomic ganglion has axon which extends to synapse with target tissue.


Autonomic Neurons (continued)

Preganglionic autonomic fibers originate in midbrain, hindbrain, and upper thoracic to 4th sacral levels of the spinal cord.

Autonomic ganglia are located in the head, neck, and abdomen.

Presynaptic neuron is myelinated and postsynaptic neuron is unmyelinated.

Autonomic nerves release NT that may be stimulatory or inhibitory.


Visceral Effector Organs

Involuntary effectors are somewhat independent of their innervation.

Smooth muscles maintain resting tone in absence of nerve stimulation.

Denervation hypersensitivity:

Damage to autonomic nerve makes its target tissue more sensitive than normal to stimulating agents.

Cardiac and many smooth muscles can contract rhythmically in absence of nerve stimulation.


Divisions of the ANS

Sympathetic nervous system and para-sympathetic nervous system:

Both have preganglionic neurons that originate in CNS.

Both have postganglionic neurons that originate outside of the CNS in ganglia.


Sympathetic Division

Myelinated preganglionic fibers exit spinal cord in ventral roots from T1 to L2 levels.

Most sympathetic nerve fibers separate from somatic motor fibers and synapse with postganglionic neurons within paravertebral ganglia.

Ganglia within each row are interconnected, forming a chain of ganglia that parallels spinal cord to synapse with postganglionic neurons.



Preganglionic fibers branch to synapse with # of postganglionic neurons.



Postganglionic neuron receives synaptic input from large # of preganglionic fibers.


Sympathetic Division (continued)


Mass activation:

Divergence and convergence cause the SNS to be activated as a unit.

Axons of postganglionic neurons are unmyelinated to the effector organ.


Adrenal Glands

Adrenal medulla secretes epinephrine (Epi) and norepinephrine (NE) when stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system.

Modified sympathetic ganglion:

Its cells are derived form the same embryonic tissue that forms postganglionic sympathetic neurons.


Sympathoadrenal system:

Stimulated by mass activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Innervated by preganglionic sympathetic fibers.


Parasympathetic Division

Preganglionic fibers originate in midbrain, medulla, pons; and in the 2-4 sacral levels of the spinal column.

Preganglionic fibers synapse in terminal ganglia located next to or within organs innervated.

Most parasympathetic fibers do not travel within spinal nerves.

Do not innervate blood vessels, sweat glands, and arrector pili muscles.


Parasympathetic Division (continued)

4 of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves (III, VII, X, XI) contain preganglionic parasympathetic fibers.

III, VII, XI synapse in ganglia located in the head.

X synapses in terminal ganglia located in widespread regions of the body.

Vagus (X):

Innervates heart, lungs esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, small intestine and upper half of the large intestine.

Preganglionic fibers from the sacral level innervate the lower half of large intestine, the rectum, urinary and reproductive systems.


Sympathetic Effects

Fight or flight response.

Release of norepinephrine (NT) from postganglionic fibers and epinephrine (NT) from adrenal medulla.

Mass activation prepares for intense activity.

Heart rate (HR) increases.

Bronchioles dilate.

Blood [glucose] increases.


Parasympathetic Effects

Normally not activated as a whole.

Stimulation of separate parasympathetic nerves.

Release ACh as NT.

Relaxing effects:

Decreases HR.

Dilates visceral blood vessels.

Increases digestive activity.


Adrenergic and Cholinergic Synaptic Transmission

ACh is NT for all preganglionic fibers of both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Transmission at these synapses is termed cholinergic:

ACh is NT released by most postganglionic parasympathetic fibers at synapse with effector.

Axons of postganglionic neurons have numerous varicosities along the axon that contain NT.


Adrenergic and Cholinergic Synaptic Transmission (continued)

Transmission at these synapses is called adrenergic:

NT released by most postganglionic sympathetic nerve fibers is NE.

Epi, released by the adrenal medulla is synthesized from the same precursor as NE.

Collectively called catecholamines.


Responses to Adrenergic Stimulation

Beta adrenergic receptors:

Produce their effects by stimulating  production of cAMP.

NE binds to receptor.

G-protein dissociates into a subunit or bg-  complex.

Depending upon tissue, either a subunit or bg-complex produces the effects.

Alpha subunit activates adenylate cyclase, producing cAMP.

cAMP activates protein kinase, opening ion channels.


Responses to Adrenergic Stimulation (continued)

Alpha1 adrenergic receptors:

Produce their effects by the production of Ca2+.

Epi binds to receptor.

Ca2+ binds to calmodulin.

Calmodulin activates protein kinase, modifying enzyme action.

Alpha2 adrenergic receptors:

Located on presynaptic terminal.

Decreases release of NE.

Negative feedback control.

Located on postsynaptic membrane.

When activated, produces vasoconstriction.


Responses to Adrenergic Stimulation (continued)

Has both excitatory and inhibitory effects.

Responses due to different membrane receptor proteins.

a1 : constricts visceral smooth muscles.

a2  : contraction of smooth muscle.

b1  : increases HR and force of contraction.

b2  : relaxes bronchial smooth muscles.

b3: adipose tissue, function unknown.


Responses to Cholinergic Stimulation

All somatic motor neurons, all preganglionic and most postganglionic parasympathetic neurons are cholinergic.

Release ACh as NT.

Somatic motor neurons and all preganglionic autonomic neurons are excitatory.

Postganglionic axons, may be excitatory or inhibitory.

Muscarinic receptors:

Ach binds to receptor.

Requires the mediation of G-proteins.

bg-complex affects opening or closing a channel, or activating enzymes.


Responses to Cholinergic Stimulation (continued)

Nicotinic receptors (ligand-gated):

ACh binds to 2 nicotinic receptor binding sites.

Causes ion channel to open within the receptor protein.

Opens a Na+ channel.

Always excitatory.


Responses to Cholinergic Stimulation (continued)


Other Autonomic NTs

Certain nonadrenergic, noncholinergic postganglionic autonomic axons produce their effects through other NTs.





Organs With Dual Innervation

Most visceral organs receive dual innervation (innervation by both sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers).

Antagonistic effects:

Sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers innervate the same cells.

Actions counteract each other.

Heart rate.


Sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation produces similar effects.

Salivary gland secretion.


Sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation produce different effects that work together to produce desired effect.



Organs Without Dual Innervation

Regulation achieved by increasing or decreasing firing rate.

Adrenal medulla, arrector pili muscle, sweat glands, and most blood vessels receive only sympathetic innervation.

Nonshivering thermogenesis.


Control of the ANS by Higher Brain Centers

Sensory input transmitted to brain centers that integrate information.

Can modify activity of preganglionic autonomic neurons.


Most directly controls activity of autonomic system.

Location of centers for control of cardiovascular, pulmonary, urinary, reproductive and digestive systems.


Regulates medulla.

Cerebral cortex and limbic system:

Responsible for visceral responses that are characteristic of emotional states.

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