The Spinal Cord

A Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Text and Atlas

Edited by

  • Charles Watson, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
  • George Paxinos, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • Gulgun Kayalioglu, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey

Many hundreds of thousands suffer spinal cord injuries leading to loss of sensation and motor function in the body below the point of injury. Spinal cord research has made some significant strides towards new treatment methods, and is a focus of many laboratories worldwide. In addition, research on the involvement of the spinal cord in pain and the abilities of nervous tissue in the spine to regenerate has increasingly been on the forefront of biomedical research in the past years. The Spinal Cord, a collaboration with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, is the first comprehensive book on the anatomy of the mammalian spinal cord. Tens of thousands of articles and dozens of books are published on this subject each year, and a great deal of experimental work has been carried out on the rat spinal cord. Despite this, there is no comprehensive and authoritative atlas of the mammalian spinal cord. Almost all of the fine details of spinal cord anatomy must be searched for in journal articles on particular subjects. This book addresses this need by providing both a comprehensive reference on the mammalian spinal cord and a comparative atlas of both rat and mouse spinal cords in one convenient source. The book provides a descriptive survey of the details of mammalian spinal cord anatomy, focusing on the rat with many illustrations from the leading experts in the field and atlases of the rat and the mouse spinal cord. The rat and mouse spinal cord atlas chapters include photographs of Nissl stained transverse sections from each of the spinal cord segments (obtained from a single unfixed spinal cord), detailed diagrams of each of the spinal cord segments pictured, delineating the laminae of Rexed and all other significant neuronal groupings at each level and photographs of additional sections displaying markers such as acetylcholinesterase (AChE), calbindin, calretinin, choline acetlytransferase, neurofilament protein (SMI 32), enkephalin, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN).
View full description


Book information

  • Published: November 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-374247-6


"This atlas provides an excellent, detailed map of the entire spinal cord of both rat and mouse. The photomicrographs are outstanding, the labelling is clear and the illustrations should serve as outstanding examples of what high quality staining and immunocytochemistry should look like. This information has not been available in any atlas of the CNS before, and will be an extremely useful resource for all neuroscientist interested in this part of the nervous system and a 'must-have' for spinal cord labs." Jacqueline C. Bresnahan, Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, Brain and Spinal Injury Center, University of California at San Francisco, USA “The Spinal Cord is an authoritative and detailed account of the development, organization and function of the spinal cord. Written by a series of experts, the book contains enlightening chapters that cover the anatomy and the architecture of the spinal cord in a clear and logical fashion. Attention to special topics, such as spinal cord injury and micturition, is unprecedented and unusually informative. The comprehensive atlas, along with the diagrams and list of references, will be of considerable use to the students of the nervous system, as well as the most senior of investigators. It is an excellent volume!” Moses V. Chao, Professor of Cell Biology, Physiology and Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Molecular Neurobiology Program, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, USA

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The organization of the spinal cordCharles Watson and Gulgun KayaliogluThe gross anatomy of the spinal cord Spinal cord segments Spinal nervesSpinal cord gray and white matter. Lateral cervical nucleusLateral spinal nucleusOnuf’s nucleus Central canalSpinal cord meningesVasculature of the spinal cordChapter 2Development of the spinal cordKen WS AshwellFrom neural plate to neural tube Neural crest developmentAlar and basal plates and their derivatives Segmentation of the developing spinal cordMotoneuron development and cell deathDevelopment of spinal cord afferents and dorsal horn interneuronsDevelopment of glia in the spinal cord Development of major ascending and descending tractsMyelination of spinal cord pathwaysRelative growth of the spinal cord and vertebral column Chapter 3The vertebral column and the spinal meningesGulgun KayaliogluThe vertebral columnGeneral features of the vertebrae in mammals Interspecific variation in vertebral number The rodent vertebral column Cervical vertebrae in humansThoracic vertebrae in humansLumbar vertebrae in humans.The sacrum in humans The coccyx in humans Curvatures of the spineJoints of the vertebraeJoints between vertebral bodiesJoints between vertebral archesThe craniovertebral jointsLumbosacral joints Sacrococcygeal joint Intercoccygeal joints Sacro-iliac joints The intrinsic muscles of the vertebral columnThe spinal meninges Intermediate leptomeningeal layer Chapter 4The spinal nervesGulgun KayaliogluThe anatomy of the dorsal and ventral roots and spinal nervesDorsal root (spinal) ganglia Spinal nervesDermatomes Chapter 5The spinal cord blood vesselsOscar U ScreminBlood flow and spinal cord functionCapillary networksSpinal cord blood flow imaging Arterial anatomy Venous anatomySpinal cord lymphatic drainage Experimental spinal cord ischemiaBlood flow in spinal cord trauma Chapter 6Cytoarchitecture of the spinal cordClaire Heise and Gulgun KayaliogluThe laminae of Rexed Lamina 1Lamina 2 Lamina 3Lamina 4 The dorsal nucleus Lamina 5Lamina 6 Lamina 7 Lamina 8 Lamina 9 Lamina 10 Chapter 7Localization of motoneurons in the spinal cordSteve McHanwell and Charles WatsonIntroduction – motoneuron types Cellular organization of neurons within the ventral and intermediate horns Experimental approaches to motoneuron localization Topography of motoneuron pools in the upper cervical spinal cord Topography of forelimb motoneuron pools in the cervical enlargement Topography of motoneuron pools in the thoracic and upper lumbar spinal cord Topography of hindlimb motoneuron pools in the lumbosacral spinal cordMuscles of the perineumDeep muscles of the back and tail Chapter 8Spinal autonomic preganglionic neurons: the visceral efferent system of the spinal cordColin R Anderson, Janet R Keast, and Elspeth M McLachlanVisceral efferent pathways Spatial distribution of preganglionic neurons Morphology of preganglionic neurons and arrangement of their dendrites Sympathetic preganglionic neurons Parasympathetic preganglionic neurons Chemistry of preganglionic neuronsChemistry of synaptic inputs to preganglionic neuronsRegulation of pelvic organ function Chapter 9Central nervous system control of micturitionGert Holstege and Han CollewijnAfferent fibers from bladder to sacral spinal cordSensory endings in the bladder wallSensory endings in the urethraSacral cord Bladder C-fibersBladder A-delta fibersAscending projectionsMotor innervation of bladder and bladder sphincter Somatomotor innervation of the external bladder sphincter Sacral micturition reflexesPeriaqueductal grayPontine micturition center (PMC) Continence center or L-region Other brainstem-spinal pathways possibly involved in bladderand sphincter motoneuronal control Forebrain micturition control Chapter 10Projections from the spinal cord to the brainGulgun KayaliogluAscending spinal projections in the ventrolateral funiculus Other ascending projections in the ventrolateral funiculusProjections from the spinal cord to the cerebellum The dorsal spinocerebellar tract Dorsal column ascending pathwaysChapter 11Projections from the brain to the spinal cordCharles Watson and Alan R HarveyThe corticospinal tract Hypothalamic and diencephalic projections to the spinal cordThe rubrospinal tractThe tectospinal tractCerebellospinal projectionsThe reticulospinal tracts Descending trigeminal and dorsal column nuclei projections The vestibulospinal tracts Raphespinal and coeruleospinal tractsThe solitariospinal tract Projection from the retroambiguus nucleus to the spinal cord Chapter 12The propriospinal systemAmanda C Conta and Dennis J StelznerThe propriospinal system: definition and overall function Subgroups of propriospinal networks Propriospinal networks and neurotransmittersLocomotor propriospinal system across speciesPropriospinal projections and experimental spinal cord injury Chapter 13Spinal cord transmitter substancesClaire Heise and Gulgun KayaliogluCholinergic neurons Substance P Noradrenergic projections to the spinal cordSerotoninergic projections from the rapheDopaminergic projections to the spinal cord Chapter 14Spinal cord injury: experimental animal models and relation to human therapy.Stuart I Hodgetts, Giles W Plant, and Alan R HarveyGeneral pathophysiology of SCITypes of spinal cord injuryImmune and inflammatory responses following SCIMethods to induce spinal cord injury Assessing functional recovery in animal models of SCIAssessing human functional recoveryDifferences between animal models and humans and functional recovery after SCIStrategies to treat SCI Clinical trialsChapter 15Atlas of the rat spinal cordCharles Watson, George Paxinos. Gulgun Kayalioglu, and Claire HeiseIntroductionMethodsCresyl violet staining and AChE histochemistryImmunohistochemical processing MountingPhotography and diagrams Nomenclature and abbreviations Basis of delineation of structures Naming of spinal cord segments Identification of regions and segments of the spinal cord in the rat and mouseList of structuresRat spinal cord figures and platesChapter 16Atlas of the mouse spinal cordCharles Watson, George Paxinos. Gulgun Kayalioglu, and Claire HeiseIntroductionMethodsMouse spinal cord sections provided by the Allen Institute for Brain SciencePhotography and diagramsBasis of delineation of structuresList of structuresMouse spinal cord figures and platesChapter 17Toward a spinal cord ontologyCharles Watson and Amandeep SidhuWhat is an ontology?Regional subdivisions in the spinal cordA new regional classification based on development An ontological outline of spinal cord nomenclature Six levels in the spinal cord ontology Subdividing the limb enlargements into rostral and caudal groupsDetailed similarities between the arrangement of motoneuron groups in the brachial and lumbar enlargementsSimilarities between the segments that immediately precede the upper and lower limb enlargements Does this spinal cord ontology have any practical application?