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The nervous system is the master

controlling system of the body.

It has three main functions:
1) It monitors changes occurring
both inside and outside the body by
means of millions of receptors;
2) It processes and interprets the
sensory input and makes decisions
about what should be done –
3) It dictates a response to activate
the effector organs by means of
motor output.

Subfields relevant to research of nervous system:

Neuroanatomy Neurophysiology Neuropathology
Neurophamocology Neurobiology
Part 6 Introduction of the nervous system
Major divisions of the nervous system:

Central nervous system CNS

consisting of brain and spinal cord, is the
integrating and command center of the
nervous system.
Peripheral nervous system PNS
consisting of cranial and spinal nerves
extending from brain and spinal cord,
serves as communication lines linking all
regions of the body to CNS

Sensory (afferent ) nerves

Motor (efferent ) nerves

Somatic nerves 躯体神经

Visceral nerves 内脏神经
Visceral nerves 内脏神经

Autonomic nervous system ANS is the

system of motor neurons that innervate
the smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and
glands, which consisting of two parts:

Sympathatic nerve 交感神经

Parasympathatic nerve 副交感神经
Both divisions innervate the same visceral
organs but cause opposite effects

Sensory part of the visceral nerves

The visceral nerves also contain sensory part
which monitor tretch, temerature, chemical
changs, and irritation within the visceral
Born in Corteno (Brescia), Italy, Golgi received his
education at PAVIA (Italy) and then became assistant
to the great Cesar Lombroso at the Institute di
Patologia Generale. His work on pellagra early and
psammomas later brought him great recognition but
the development of the Golgi method to stain
neuroglia achieved for him permanent fame.
His studies on gliomas were monumental. Together
with Santiago Ramon oy Cajal (1852-1934) when he
even denunciated, they jointly received the Nobel
Prize in 1906.
Special methods are required
to show the geometry and
spatial relationships of neurons.
One of these is the Golgi
method, which shows the
neuronal cell body with the
dendrites and axon extending
from it.

Golgi method
that the
neurons in each
area of the CNS
shapes and
Santiago Ramon y Cajal
Chapter 1 General Description

The nervous tissue is made up of two types of cells: 1) neurons, the excitable
nerve cells that transmit electrical signals; 2) supporting cells, nonexcitable
cells called neuroglia mainly including astrocyte, oligodendrocyte and



Ependymal cell

neuron Microglia
Neuron nerve cell 神经元
The basic functional unit of the nervous system;
a highly specialized cell

Cell body : (soma)

Nissl bodies (chromophil substance)
Dendrite: dendritic spines
Axon: synaptic terminals
The fundamental unit of the nervous
system. Neurons are the integrative
elements of the nervous system engaged in
information transfer, modulation and

In general, neurons have a

centrally placed nucleus and
Distributed in the cytoplasm
are clumps of basophilic
material called Nissl bodies.
They are collections of
granular endoplasmic

Two varieties of processes taper from the cell body: the

thicker and shorter processes are the dendrites and the
thinner, longer process is the axon.

The specialized,
conductile portion of
the neuron that serves Dendrite
to transmit information the 'receptive' portion of the
from its receptive pole neuron on which most synaptic
(soma, dendrites) to contacts are located; arising as a
the presynaptic series of complex processes
terminals on other which commonly extend several
hundred micrometers from the
neurons, muscles, or
soma and constitute much of the
glands. gray matter neuropile. An apical
and a basal dendrite are shown
on a pyramidal cell.

Many dendrites have tiny

protrusions called dendritic
The structural modification
of spines is associated
with mental retardation,
aging, and epilepsy. Also,
a significant decrease in
the number of spines has
been reported in the
brains of elderly people.
Neurons are functionally related at points
called synapses.

A typical synapse consists of an axon

terminal (the presynaptic component d)
ending on a dendrite (the postsynaptic
component E)

mitochondria (A) vesicles that

contain neurotransmitters (B)
synaptic cleft (C)
Classification of neurons

1.Unipolar, bipolar and multipolar neuron

2.Sensory neurons, interneurons and
3.Golgi typeⅠandⅡ, Amacrine neurons
4.Monoaminergic, cholinergic and peptidergic
Grey matter: neural tissue dominated by
neurons’ soma and dendrites
Cortex: a layer of grey matter at the surface of
the brain, cerebrum and cerebellum
Nucleus: a group of nerve cell bodies in the
brain or spinal cord that can be demarcated
from neighboring groups on the basis of
differences in cell type
White matter: neural tissue dominated by
myelinated axons
Medullary substance: consisting of the
lipid material present in the myelin
sheath of nerve fibers, lies deep to the
cortex in cerebrum and cerebellum
Tract (fasciculus): a bundle of axons within
CNS that share a common origin,
destination and function
Ganglion: a distinct collection of sensory or
postganglionic cell bodies within PNS
Nerve fiber: the axon of a nerve cell,
ensheathed by oligodendroglia cells in brain
and spinal cord, and by Schwann cells in
peripheral nerves.
Nerve: a bundle of axons in PNS
Chapter 2 Central Nervous system
Section 1 spinal cord 脊髓
Ⅰ. external Features:
cervical enlargement 颈膨大 Lumbosacral
enlargment 腰骶膨大

2.external longitudinal fissures and sulci

anterior median fissure 前正中裂 posterior
median sulcus 后正中沟 anterolateral sulcus
前外侧沟 posterolateral sulcus 后外侧沟

Conus medullaris 脊髓圆锥

Filum terminale 终丝
3.Segments of the spinal cord
The short part of spinal cord associated with a pair of spinal nerves is called
a segment of spinal cord; A segment correspond to the dorsal and ventral
roots of a pair of spinal nerves

31 segments of spinal cord:

8 cervical segments
12 thoracic segments
5 lumbar segments
5 sacral segments
1 coccygeal segemnts
4.Location of spinal cord in relation to vertebral column
1) In the third month of fetal life, the cord is as long as the vertebral
2) At birth, the cord ends at the level of the 3th lumbar vertebra;
3) In the adult, the cord ends at the level of the lower border of the
1st lumbar vertebral body;

Corresponding position of cord to vertebral bodies

segments of cord vertebral bodies

C1-4 C1-4
C5-T4 C4-T3
T5-8 T3-6
T9-12 T6-9
L1-5 T10-12
S1-4,Co1 L1
Lumbar puncture: a needle is inserted between L3 and L4 to
get sample of cerebrospinal fluid ( CSF)
Cauda equina
Ⅱ. Internal structure of the
spinal cord
gray matter 灰质

Anterior horn 前角 posterior horn 后角

Lateral horn 侧角 intermediate zone
Anterior gray commissure 灰质前连合
Posterior gray commissure 灰质后连合

white matter 白质

anterior funiculus 前索
posterior funiculus 后索
lateral funiculus 外侧索
anterior white commissure 白质前连合
reticular formation 网状结构

central canal 中央管

Anterior horn (& ventral roots)

Posterior horn

Lateral horn: Intermediolateral cell column

Anterior Funiculus

Posterior funiculus

Lateral funiculus
Gray matter of the spinal cord Posteromarginal nucleus
Some nucleus in the gray matter Substantia gelatinosa
Posteromarginal N. 后角边缘核 receive incoming fibers Nucleus proprius
of dorsal root Thoracic nucleus
Substantia gelatinosa 胶状质
receive fibers of pain and
temperature sensation

Nucleus proprius 后角固有核

receive all sensory modalities

Thoracic nucleus 胸核 give fibers to

dorsal spinocerebellar tract in segments

Motoneurons of anterior horn


Medial motor neurons Lateral motor neurons

αmotoneuron innervate skeletal
Medial motor neuron axial muscles
γmotoneuron innervate
intrafusal muscle Lateral motor neuron distal muscles of arm and leg
Lamina of Rexed a division of the gray matter of the spinal cord into nine laminae
(I–IX) and a gray area around the central canal (area X) based on cytoarchitectural
features; the dorsal (posterior) horn is composed of laminae I–VI, the intermediate zone
of lamina VII, and the ventral horn of laminae VIII and IX;

General correlation of laminae with some of the major nuclei:

I : posteromarginal nucleus;
II : substantia gelatinosa;
III and IV : nucleus proprius;
V and VI : sometimes
described as containing the
spinal reticular formation;
VII : Clarke nucleus (thoracic
nucleus), intermediolateral cell
VIII : commissural nuclei,
IX : motor nuclei of ventral
Relationship between the gray matter and the spinal nerve:
1) posterior horn links with both somatic and visceral sensory fibers;
2) anterior horn links with somatic motor fibers;
3) lateral horn links with
sympathetic (visceral motor) fibers
White matter in the spinal cord

All fibers in the cord are assigned to 5 types:

1)affenrent fibers 2)efferent fibers 3)intersegmental fibers
4)long ascending fibers conducting afferent impulses to
supraspinal levels 5)long descending fibers from supraspinal
souces to synapse with spinal neurons

Fibers of the type 4 and 5 form

longitudinal bundles with more or less
distinct demarcation;
Fiber bundles having the same origin,
course and termination are known as
tracts or fasciculi occupying particular
area within the white matter of spinal
Long ascending tracts:
FG Fasciculus gracilis; FC Fasciculus cuneatus; STT spinothalamic tracts;
DSCT and VSCT Dorsal spinocerebellar tract and Ventral spinocerebellar tract

Long descending tracts:

CST Corticospinal tract lateral corticospinal tract and anterior
corticospinal tract; RST Rubrospinal tract; RT+VST
Reticulospinal tract + Vestibulospinal tract; TST Tectospinal tract
Organization of the dorsal root and its relationship with the main
ascending tracts:
1)lateral division: convey impulses related to pain, thermal and light touch sense,
pain and thermal fibers enter lateral spinothalamic tract, light touch fibers enter anterior
spinothalamic tract;
2)medial division: convey sensation of fine touch, movement and proprioception,
which enter posterior funiculus to form gracile and cuneate fasciculi
Fasciculus gracilis FG 薄束
Dorsal column system
fasciculus cuneatus FC 楔束

Position: within the posterior funiculus / FG in most

medial part; FC lateral to FG; arising from the thick and
large fibers of the medial part of dorsal root and ending
in the gracile and cuneate nuclei in the medulla

Function: convey sensation of fine touch, vibration, two-

point discrimination, proprioception and position sense
FG conducts input from the lower half of the body; FC
transmits input from the upper half of the body. Thoracic 4
is the demarcation for FG and FC

organization: Fibers are
arranged in an orderly
fashion from medial to lateral
in relation to the regions of
the body from down up

Fasciculus gracilis and cuneatus

Spinothalamic tract STT 脊髓丘脑束

Position: anterior STT in the anterior funiculus fuses

laterally with lateral STT in the lateral funiculus;

Function: 1) anterior STT convey impulses of light

touch and pressure sensations ; 2) lateral STT conducts
pain and temperature sensibilities

Some anatomical details: 1) all the fibers come from the

lateral part of the dorsal root; 2) all primary fibers relay in
laminae Ⅰ and Ⅵ-Ⅷ; 3) majority of fibers cross the median
line in anterior white commissure to contralateral tract; 4)
decussation is completed in the segment above
the entrance of the dorsal root

Somatotopic organization:
fibers from lower part of body is
sited in lateral part of the tract;
fibers from upper part in medial

Spinothalamic tract
Corticospinal tract CST 皮质脊髓束
Descending projection pathway for controlling voluntary
Arise mainly from precentral motor cortex and premotor
Majority of fibers cross over to form lateral CST and
uncrossed fibers form anterior CST
Lateral CST: ends primarily in lateral portion of the
intermediate zone and anterior horn of the cervical and
lumbosacral enlargment to contral distal limb muscles
Somatotopic organization: fibers controlling the lowest part
of the body are most laterally placed
Anterior CST: descends in
anterior funiculus and extends
only to the upper thoracic cord;
Ends in the same area with lateral
CST to control axial and girdle
muscles of the upper part of the
body bilaterally

Corticospinal tract
Rubrospinal tract: facilitates flexor muscles and
inhibits extensor ones
Vestibulospinal tract: excite motor neurons of
extensor muscles and inhibit those of flexor
Reticulospinal tract: control axial and girdle
muscles and regulate posture; help control
automatic movements
Medial longitudinal fasciculus: help control head
Tectospinal tract: coordinate head movements
with eye movements, maybe cause turning in
response to sudden visual or auditory stimuli

Minor descending tracts