Define the sympathetic nervous system, Science

Define the Sympathetic Nervous System

The sympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system is concerned with in- creasing the level of arousal and energy expenditure - primitive 'fight or flight' behaviour at times of stress. Alike the parasympathetic nervous system, the central integrating center for sympathetic activity is within the hypothalamus. This may be influenced by higher cortical centre. Efferent fibres descend from the hypothalamus within the intermediolateral columns of the spinal cord. As sympathetic fibres emerge from the central nervous system at spinal segments TI (thoracic) to L5 (lumbar), the sympathetic system is also known as the thoraco-lumbar outflow. Here 3 neurons are involved in covering impulses from the hypothalamus and medulla oblongata to effectors organs and tissues.

Neuron - 1: has its cell in the brain and its fibre extends to the spinal cord.

Neuron - 2: has its cell in lateral column of gray matter in the spinal cord.

Neuron - 3: has its cell in a ganglion (small mass of nerve tissue containing the cell bodies of the neuron) and terminates in the organ or tissue supplied.

 The preganglionic motor neurons of the sympathetic system arise in the spinal cord (lateral group column). They pass into sympathetic ganglia which are organized into two chains that run parallel to and on either side of the spinal cord. The neurotransmitter of the preganglionic sympathetic neurons is acetylcholine (ACh). It stimulates action potentials is the postganglionic neurons. The neurotransmitter released by the postganglionic neurons is noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine). The action of noradrenaline on a particular gland or muscle is excitatory in some cases, inhibitory in others.

Posted Date: 5/17/2013 4:08:10 AM | Location : United States

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