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Figure 2.16 Cholinergic and Adrenergic Synapses: Schema

Medulla oblongata

Thoracic part of spinal cord

Upper lumbar part of spinal cord (L1-2 [3])

Sacral part of spinal cord

Sympathetic fibers

Parotid gland

Larynx Trachea Bronchi Lungs

Striated muscle

Sweat glands Hair follicles

Peripheral arteries

Parotid gland

Larynx Trachea Bronchi Lungs

Medulla oblongata

Thoracic part of spinal cord

Upper lumbar part of spinal cord (L1-2 [3])

Sacral part of spinal cord

Visceral Arteries

Striated muscle

Sweat glands Hair follicles

Peripheral arteries

Visceral arteries

Gastrointestinal tract

Urethra Prostate

Presynaptic Postsynaptic

Parasympathetic fibers

Presynaptic Postsynaptic

Visceral arteries

Gastrointestinal tract

Urinary bladder

Urethra Prostate

Presynaptic Postsynaptic

Parasympathetic fibers

Presynaptic Postsynaptic

Somatic fibers

Antidromic conduction

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a two-neuron chain, with the preganglionic neuron arising from the central nervous system and synapsing on a postganglionic neuron located in a peripheral autonomic ganglion. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter in both the sympathetic and parasympathetic ganglia. The parasympathetic division of the ANS releases acetylcholine at its postganglionic synapses and is characterized as having cholinergic (C) effects, whereas the sympathetic division releases predominantly noradren aline (norepinephrine) at its postganglionic synapses, causing adrenergic (A) effects (except on sweat glands, where acetylcholine is released). Although acetylcholine and noradrenaline are the chief transmitter substances, other neuroactive peptides often are colocalized with them and include such substances as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), substance P, enkephalins, histamine, glutamic acid, neuropeptide Y, and others.

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