Parasympathetic nervous system

From Academic Kids

The parasympathetic nervous system is one of two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. It conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles. In another words, it acts to reverse the effects of the Sympathetic nervous system.

The parasympathetic nervous system only use acetylcholine (ACh) as its neurotransmitter. The ACh acts on all three main muscarinic cholinergic and nicotinic cholinergic receptors. Most transmissions occur in two stages, the preganglionic nerves use ACh to act on nicotinic receptors on ganglionic nerves. The nicotinic receptors trigger postganglionic nerves to release ACh to stimulate the muscarinic receptors of target organ.

The three main types of muscarinic receptors that are well characterised are:

  • The M1 muscarinic receptors are located in the neural system.
  • The M2 muscarinic receptors are located in the heart, they act to bring the heart back to normal after the actions of the Sympathetic nervous system. They slow down the heart rate, reduce contractile forces of the atrial cardiac muscle, and reduce conduction velocity of the Atrioventricular node (AV node). Note, they have no effect on the contractile forces of the ventricular muscle.
  • The M3 muscarinic receptors are located at many places in the body. They are located in the smooth muscles of the blood vessels, as well as in the lungs. This means they cause vasoconstriction and bronchoconstriction. They are also in the smooth muscles of the Gastrointestinal tract (GIT), which help in increasing intestinal motility and dilating sphincters. The M3 receptors are also located in many glands which help to stimulate secretion in salivary glands and other glands of the body.

Reference

  • University of Sydney lecture notes.

See also

Template:Anatomy-stub


Nervous system

Brain - Spinal cord - Central nervous system - Peripheral nervous system - Somatic nervous system - Autonomic nervous system - Sympathetic nervous system - Parasympathetic nervous system

de:Parasympathikus

es:Sistema nervioso parasimptico fr:Systme parasympathique ru:Парасимпатическая нервная система

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