postganglionic parasympathetic fibers


Summary: Nerve fibers which project from parasympathetic ganglia to synapses on target organs. Parasympathetic postganglionic fibers use acetylcholine as transmitter. They may also release peptide cotransmitters.

Top Publications

  1. Tompkins J, Parsons R. Identification of intracellular signaling cascades mediating the PACAP-induced increase in guinea pig cardiac neuron excitability. J Mol Neurosci. 2008;36:292-8 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that the activation of signaling cascades downstream of cAMP mediate the PACAP-induced increase in cardiac neuron excitability. ..
  2. Posokhova E, Wydeven N, Allen K, Wickman K, Martemyanov K. RGS6/G?5 complex accelerates IKACh gating kinetics in atrial myocytes and modulates parasympathetic regulation of heart rate. Circ Res. 2010;107:1350-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Molecular mechanisms regulating this critical signal transduction pathway are not fully understood...
  3. Yang J, Huang J, Maity B, Gao Z, Lorca R, Gudmundsson H, et al. RGS6, a modulator of parasympathetic activation in heart. Circ Res. 2010;107:1345-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These effects likely result from actions of RGS6 as a negative regulator of G protein activation of GIRK channels. ..
  4. Lagos P, Ballejo G. Role of spinal nitric oxide synthase-dependent processes in the initiation of the micturition hyperreflexia associated with cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis. Neuroscience. 2004;125:663-70 pubmed
    ..The increased production of NO in these spinal segments appears to be necessary for the initiation of the micturition hyperreflexia. ..
  5. Yamazaki T, Akiyama T, Mori H. Effects of nociceptin on cardiac norepinephrine and acetylcholine release evoked by ouabain. Brain Res. 2001;904:153-6 pubmed
    ..These findings demonstrate that nociceptin inhibits cardiac autonomic neurotransmission via a presynaptic opioid receptor-like1(ORL1) receptor. ..
  6. Klein R, Burk D, Chase P. Anatomically and physiologically based guidelines for use of the sphenopalatine ganglion block versus the stellate ganglion block to reduce atypical facial pain. Cranio. 2001;19:48-55 pubmed
    ..We have reviewed the basic anatomy of both ganglia and the physiological responses usually associated with each, and have given an opinion on appropriate use of these therapeutic modalities. ..
  7. Toda N, Tanaka T, Ayajiki K, Okamura T. Cerebral vasodilatation induced by stimulation of the pterygopalatine ganglion and greater petrosal nerve in anesthetized monkeys. Neuroscience. 2000;96:393-8 pubmed
    ..This is the first direct evidence indicating an important role of nitric oxide liberated by pre- and postganglionic nerve stimulation in the control of cerebral arterial tone in primates. ..
  8. Ruskell G. Orbital passage of pterygopalatine ganglion efferents to paranasal sinuses and nasal mucosa in man. Cells Tissues Organs. 2003;175:223-8 pubmed
    ..Appropriate chemical lesions, on the other hand, could ensure destruction of isolated parasympathetic nerves while limiting damage to the larger anterior ethmoidal nerve...
  9. Proctor G, Garrett J, Carpenter G, Ebersole L. Salivary secretion of immunoglobulin A by submandibular glands in response to autonomimetic infusions in anaesthetised rats. J Neuroimmunol. 2003;136:17-24 pubmed
    ..The secretion of fluid or proteins but not IgA was increased with frequency of nerve stimulation and dose of methacholine (cholinergic), isoprenaline (beta-adrenergic) or phenylephrine (alpha-adrenergic). ..

More Information


  1. Venkatesan P, Wang J, Evans C, Irnaten M, Mendelowitz D. Endomorphin-2 inhibits GABAergic inputs to cardiac parasympathetic neurons in the nucleus ambiguus. Neuroscience. 2002;113:975-83 pubmed
    ..The subsequent increase in parasympathetic outflow to the heart may be one mechanism by which mu-selective opioids act to induce bradycardia. ..
  2. Talman W, Corr J, Nitschke Dragon D, Wang D. Parasympathetic stimulation elicits cerebral vasodilatation in rat. Auton Neurosci. 2007;133:153-7 pubmed
    ..In the current study approaching the ganglion through an incision over the zygomatic arch provided clear exposure of the ganglion and stimulation of the ganglion with that approach led to vasodilatation. ..
  3. Cavallotti C, Frati A, Sagnelli P, Pescosolido N. Re-evaluation and quantification of the different sources of nerve fibres supplying the rat eye. J Anat. 2005;206:217-24 pubmed
    ..The denervation experiments confirmed the presence of the different types of nerve fibres (sympathetic, parasympathetic and sensitive) in the three studied structures of the rat eye. ..
  4. Kim D, Park K, Jung K, Park S, Nam H, Lee Y. A case of incomplete postganglionic cholinergic dysautonomia. J Neurol. 2003;250:316-9 pubmed
    ..The patient was diagnosed as 'incomplete postganglionic cholinergic dysautonomia'...
  5. Fukami H, Bradley R. Biophysical and morphological properties of parasympathetic neurons controlling the parotid and von Ebner salivary glands in rats. J Neurophysiol. 2005;93:678-86 pubmed
    ..von Ebner glands are involved in taste stimulus delivery and removal from posterior tongue papillae while the parotid glands contribute saliva to the entire mouth. ..
  6. Carnicella S, Pain L, Oberling P. Cholinergic effects on fear conditioning II: nicotinic and muscarinic modulations of atropine-induced disruption of the degraded contingency effect. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005;178:533-41 pubmed
    ..Results are discussed in this connection and with regard to the relation between the properties of cholinergic agonists and their therapeutic values. ..
  7. Racké K, Juergens U, Matthiesen S. Control by cholinergic mechanisms. Eur J Pharmacol. 2006;533:57-68 pubmed
  8. Somogyi G, Yokoyama T, Szell E, Smith C, de Groat W, Huard J, et al. Effect of cryoinjury on the contractile parameters of bladder strips: a model of impaired detrusor contractility. Brain Res Bull. 2002;59:23-8 pubmed
    ..The bladder cryoinjury can be used as a model for studying impaired bladder compliance and detrusor contractility as well as treatments that may improve bladder function such as tissue engineering. ..
  9. Dorofeeva A, Panteleev S, Makarov F. Parasympathetic innervation of the initial segments of the large intestine in cats. Neurosci Behav Physiol. 2008;38:923-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The transverse colon also received innervation from neurons in the cruciform parasympathetic nucleus of the spinal cord...
  10. Dickson A, Avelino A, Cruz F, Ribeiro da Silva A. Peptidergic sensory and parasympathetic fiber sprouting in the mucosa of the rat urinary bladder in a chronic model of cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis. Neuroscience. 2006;139:671-85 pubmed
    ..Future studies are required to establish the role of this fiber sprouting in bladder symptoms. ..
  11. Rosignoli F, Pérez Leirós C. Nitric oxide synthase I and VIP-activated signaling are affected in salivary glands of NOD mice. J Neuroimmunol. 2002;130:109-16 pubmed
    ..Our results support the hypothesis of an impaired balance of neuroimmune interactions in salivary glands as early events to take place in the progressive loss of secretory function of NOD mice. ..
  12. Clarke R. Shaping the pupil's response to light in the hooded rat. Exp Brain Res. 2007;176:641-51 pubmed
  13. Lavi R. Spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery associated with Horner's syndrome and contralateral trigeminal parasympathetic activation. Anesth Analg. 2007;104:462 pubmed
  14. Kawagishi K, Fukushima N, Yokouchi K, Sumitomo N, Kakegawa A, Moriizumi T. Tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive fibers in the human vagus nerve. J Clin Neurosci. 2008;15:1023-6 pubmed publisher
    ..From these findings, we conclude that sympathetic fibers are consistently included in the human vagus nerve, a main source of parasympathetic preganglionic fibers to the cervical, thoracic and abdominal visceral organs. ..
  15. Swissa M, Zhou S, Tan A, Fishbein M, Chen P, Chen L. Atrial sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve sprouting and hyperinnervation induced by subthreshold electrical stimulation of the left stellate ganglion in normal dogs. Cardiovasc Pathol. 2008;17:303-8 pubmed publisher
    ..No atrial arrhythmia was observed at the second surgery. Continuous subthreshold electrical stimulation to the LSG induces both sympathetic and parasympathetic hyperinnervation in both right and left atria in normal dogs. ..
  16. Ashker L, Weinstein J, Dias M, Kanev P, Nguyen D, Bonsall D. Arachnoid cyst causing third cranial nerve palsy manifesting as isolated internal ophthalmoplegia and iris cholinergic supersensitivity. J Neuroophthalmol. 2008;28:192-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Our patient serves as a reminder that isolated internal ophthalmoplegia with cholinergic supersensitivity is compatible with a preganglionic compressive third nerve lesion, particularly in a young child...
  17. Shaw P, Yu W. Autonomic regulation of cystatin S gene expression in rat submandibular glands. Auton Neurosci. 2000;83:49-57 pubmed
  18. Agelink M, Ullrich H, Baumann B, Strum S, Majewski T. Effects of reboxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, on sympathetic and parasympathetic outflow to the heart: preliminary data. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002;163:151-6 pubmed
    ..Long-term treatment (21 days) may cause desensitization and down-regulation of alpha(2)-autoreceptors, so that attenuation of the inhibitory restraint on sympathetic outflow results. ..
  19. Ray F, Moore K, Hansen M, Barden J. Loss of purinergic P2X receptor innervation in human detrusor and subepithelium from adults with sensory urgency. Cell Tissue Res. 2003;314:351-9 pubmed
    ..The same loss was recorded from the sensory nerves in the surrounding lamina propria. This specific loss of P2X receptors may impair control of detrusor distension and contribute to the pathophysiology of sensory urgency. ..
  20. Reich S, Grill S. Gustatory sweating: Frey syndrome. Neurology. 2005;65:E24 pubmed
  21. Mazzuoli G, Lucherini M, Russo D, Clavenzani P, Chiocchetti R. Intrinsic neuronal control of the pyloric sphincter of the lamb. J Chem Neuroanat. 2008;36:98-106 pubmed publisher
    ..The cholinergic ascending neurons were also SP-IR (60%) whereas no ChAT-IR cells were NOS-IR. The findings of this research indicate that the sheep PS is innervated by long-projecting neurons of the abomasal and duodenal ENS. ..
  22. Friedman J, Amick M, Chou K. Rhinorrhea and olfaction in Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2008;70:487-9 pubmed publisher
  23. Cheng S, Kuchiiwa S, Kuchiiwa T, Nonaka S, Nakagawa S. Presence of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in autonomic and sensory ganglion neurons innervating the lacrimal glands of the cat: an immunofluorescent and retrograde tracer double-labeling study. J Chem Neuroanat. 2001;22:147-55 pubmed
    ..The present results suggest that NO plays an important role in the regulation of LG activities. ..
  24. McCloskey M, Potter E. Sympathetic and parasympathetic interaction in vascular and secretory control of salivary glands in anaesthetised dogs. Auton Neurosci. 2000;84:50-7 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that NPY as a sympathetic cotransmitter may have a role in the regulation of vascular secretory function of salivary glands. ..
  25. Restivo D, Lanza S, Patti F, Giuffrida S, Marchese Ragona R, Bramanti P, et al. Improvement of diabetic autonomic gustatory sweating by botulinum toxin type A. Neurology. 2002;59:1971-3 pubmed
    ..This therapeutic approach, which could be used to reduce the severity of diabetic gustatory sweating, appears to be long lasting, adverse effect free, and minimally invasive. ..
  26. Sugimoto A, Aikawa Y, Kobayashi R, Kurosawa M. Responses of hepatic glucose output to noxious mechanical stimulation of the skin in anaesthetised rats. Auton Neurosci. 2002;102:45-53 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, it was shown that relative contribution of the spinal and supraspinal organization to the somato-HGO responses was dependent on the skin areas stimulated. ..
  27. Dougherty K, Turchin P, Walsh T. Septocingulate and septohippocampal cholinergic pathways: involvement in working/episodic memory. Brain Res. 1998;810:59-71 pubmed
  28. Ramien M, Ruocco I, Cuello A, St Louis M, Ribeiro Da Silva A. Parasympathetic nerve fibers invade the upper dermis following sensory denervation of the rat lower lip skin. J Comp Neurol. 2004;469:83-95 pubmed
    ..These results show that considerable changes occur in the innervation patterns of parasympathetic fibers following mental nerve lesions. ..
  29. Brennan K, Charles A. An update on the blood vessel in migraine. Curr Opin Neurol. 2010;23:266-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Migraine is accompanied by significant derangements in vascular function that may represent important targets for investigation and treatment. ..
  30. Niioka T, Ishii H, Izumi H. Involvement of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in the parasympathetic vasodilatation of the rat masseter muscle. Arch Oral Biol. 2009;54:909-16 pubmed publisher
  31. Prasad S, Baccon J, Galetta S. Mydriatic pupil in giant cell arteritis. J Neurol Sci. 2009;284:196-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Repeated episodes of pupil dilation in this patient suggested ongoing microvascular insufficiency...
  32. Carnicella S, Pain L, Oberling P. Cholinergic effects on fear conditioning I: the degraded contingency effect is disrupted by atropine but reinstated by physostigmine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005;178:524-32 pubmed
    ..They are discussed in the framework of the mechanisms that are involved in both types of contextual processing. ..
  33. Maruyama S, Kurosawa S, Takagi Y, Oki T, Noguchi Y, Ukai M, et al. Urodynamics and bladder muscarinic receptors in rats with cerebral infarction and bladder outlet obstruction. Neurosci Lett. 2007;414:80-4 pubmed
  34. Saleh T, Connell B, Saleh M. Acute injection of 17beta-estradiol enhances cardiovascular reflexes and autonomic tone in ovariectomized female rats. Auton Neurosci. 2000;84:78-88 pubmed
    ..These results demonstrate that acutely administered, low-dose estrogen has beneficial effects on autonomic tone and cardiovascular reflexes. ..
  35. Deo S, Barlow M, Gonzalez L, Yoshishige D, Caffrey J. Cholinergic location of delta-opioid receptors in canine atria and SA node. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008;294:H829-38 pubmed
    ..The abundant nodal and atrial DORs predominantly associated with cholinergic nerve terminals support the hypothesis that prejunctional DORs regulate vagal transmission locally within the heart. ..
  36. Pomprasit M, Chintrakarn C. Treatment of Frey's syndrome with botulinum toxin. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007;90:2397-402 pubmed
    ..The explanation for this symptom has been an aberrant regeneration of postganglionic parasympathetic fibers feeding the parotid gland that are severed during parotidectomy...
  37. Landis B, Burkhard P. Rhinorrhea and olfaction in Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2008;71:1041-2; author reply 1042 pubmed publisher
  38. Smith A, Hansen M, Liu D, Adams D. Pre- and postsynaptic actions of ATP on neurotransmission in rat submandibular ganglia. Neuroscience. 2001;107:283-91 pubmed
    ..We conclude that disruption of ganglionic transmission in vivo by either nerve damage or synaptic blockade may up-regulate P2X expression or availability and alter neuronal excitability. ..
  39. King B, Townsend Nicholson A. Involvement of P2Y1 and P2Y11 purinoceptors in parasympathetic inhibition of colonic smooth muscle. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2008;324:1055-63 pubmed
    ..These P2Y receptor subtypes, plus neuronal P2X receptors, may explain the phenomenon of parasympathetic inhibition first described by Langley (1898). ..
  40. Dickson A, Avelino A, Cruz F, Ribeiro da Silva A. Peptidergic sensory and parasympathetic fiber sprouting in the mucosa of the rat urinary bladder in a chronic model of cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis. Neuroscience. 2006;141:1633-47 pubmed
    ..Future studies are required to establish the role of this fiber sprouting in bladder symptoms. ..
  41. Mousa S, Shaqura M, Schäper J, Huang W, Treskatsch S, Habazettl H, et al. Identification of mu- and kappa-opioid receptors as potential targets to regulate parasympathetic, sympathetic, and sensory neurons within rat intracardiac ganglia. J Comp Neurol. 2010;518:3836-47 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, they may well play a role within the complex network for the integration of the heart's neuronal in- and output. ..
  42. Hardwick J, Baran C, Southerland E, Ardell J. Remodeling of the guinea pig intrinsic cardiac plexus with chronic pressure overload. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009;297:R859-66 pubmed publisher
    ..These results indicate that congestive heart failure associated with chronic pressure overload induces a differential remodeling of intrinsic cardiac neurons and upregulation of neuronal responsiveness to specific neuromodulators. ..
  43. Shin R, Galetta S, Ting T, Armstrong K, Bird S. Ross syndrome plus: beyond horner, Holmes-Adie, and harlequin. Neurology. 2000;55:1841-6 pubmed
    ..Other symptoms of dysautonomia were also common. These findings suggest that Ross syndrome is a dysautonomic condition of varying expression resulting from a generalized injury to ganglion cells or their projections. ..
  44. Li T, Chiou L, Lin Y, Hsieh J, Hwang L. Electrophysiological study on the effects of leptin in rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007;292:R2136-43 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that the DMNV is one of the central target sites of leptin, and leptin can regulate parasympathetic outflow from the DMNV by directly acting on the parasympathetic preganglionic neurons of the DMNV. ..
  45. Kuchiiwa S, Kuchiiwa T. Autonomic and sensory innervation of cat molar gland and blood vessels in the lower lip, gingiva and cheek. J Auton Nerv Syst. 1996;61:227-34 pubmed
    ..The vessels in the cheek mucous membrane receive dual parasympathetic supplies from the otic ganglia and the pterygopalatine ganglion by way of the buccal nerve. ..
  46. Goldstein D, Pechnik S, Moak J, Eldadah B. Painful sweating. Neurology. 2004;63:1471-5 pubmed
    ..The authors report a case of spontaneous and gustatory facial pain and sweating...
  47. Zhang L, Han D, Carlen P. Temporal specificity of muscarinic synaptic modulation of the Ca(2+)-dependent K+ current (ISAHP) in rat hippocampal neurones. J Physiol. 1996;496 ( Pt 2):395-405 pubmed
  48. Ayajiki K, Fujioka H, Shinozaki K, Okamura T. Effects of capsaicin and nitric oxide synthase inhibitor on increase in cerebral blood flow induced by sensory and parasympathetic nerve stimulation in the rat. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005;98:1792-8 pubmed
    ..The afferent impulses by nerve stimulation may stimulate the trigeminal nerve and lead to the rapid increase in MABP, which partly contributes to the increase in CBF. ..
  49. Baron R, Engler F. Postganglionic cholinergic dysautonomia with incomplete recovery: a clinical, neurophysiological and immunological case study. J Neurol. 1996;243:18-24 pubmed
    ..Whatever autoimmunological mechanism might be involved, the postulated antibodies act highly specifically on unknown structures of the cholinergic postganglionic autonomic neurons. ..
  50. Brusa L, Petta F, Pisani A, Moschella V, Iani C, Stanzione P, et al. Acute vs chronic effects of l-dopa on bladder function in patients with mild Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2007;68:1455-9 pubmed
    ..The acute and chronic l-dopa effects may be due to the different synaptic concentrations or to the activation of postsynaptic mechanisms obtained by chronic administration. ..
  51. Mazzone S, Canning B. Evidence for differential reflex regulation of cholinergic and noncholinergic parasympathetic nerves innervating the airways. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002;165:1076-83 pubmed
    ..This previously unrecognized complexity of autonomic regulation of airway caliber has potentially important implications for the mechanisms of airways hyperresponsiveness. ..
  52. Sato T, Miyamoto T, Okada Y, Fujiyama R. Non-synaptic transformation of gustatory receptor potential by stimulation of the parasympathetic fiber of the frog glossopharyngeal nerve. Chem Senses. 2001;26:79-84 pubmed
  53. Yasuda K, Mori R, Tanaka M, Nakayama Y, Tanaka S, Kumai T, et al. Evidence of parasympathetic postganglionic neurons in the rat hypoglossal nerve trunk. Exp Brain Res. 2003;153:302-9 pubmed
    ..5 mm proximal to the bifurcation of the XII nerve into medial and lateral branches. Our findings indicate that GH muscle in the rat is innervated by both somatic and parasympathetic nervous systems. ..