Parasympathetic Ganglia

Monday, November 21, 2011

The parasympathetic ganglia are the clusters of cell bodies of cholinergic neurons of the parasympathetic nervous system. They are situated near the wall of the organs being innervated. Supplying all parasympathetic innervation to the head and neck, these paired ganglia are: 1) ciliary ganglion, which supply pupil sphincter and ciliary muscle; 2) otic ganglion (parotid gland); 3) submandibular ganglion (submandibular and sublingual glands); 4) pterygopalatine ganglion (lacrimal gland, glands of nasal cavity).

Each ganglion has three roots: a motor root; a sympathetic root, synapsing in the ganglia of the sympathetic chain; and a sensory root, the fibers of which pass the ganglion without interruption.