The Spinal Cord

The Spinal Cord

A Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Text and Atlas

1st Edition - November 12, 2008

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  • Editors: Charles Watson, George Paxinos, Gulgun Kayalioglu
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080921389
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123742476

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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).

Key Features

  • The text provides a detailed account of the anatomy of the mammalian spinal cord and surrounding musculoskeletal elements
  • The major topics addressed are: development of the spinal cord; the gross anatomy of the spinal cord and its meninges; spinal nerves, nerve roots, and dorsal root ganglia; the vertebral column, vertebral joints, and vertebral muscles; blood supply of the spinal cord; cytoarchitecture and chemoarchitecture of the spinal gray matter; musculotopic anatomy of motoneuron groups; tracts connecting the brain and spinal cord; spinospinal pathways; sympathetic and parasympathetic elements in the spinal cord; neuronal groups and pathways that control micturition; the anatomy of spinal cord injury in experimental animals
  • The atlas of the rat and mouse spinal cord has the following features: Photographs of Nissl stained transverse sections from each of 34 spinal segments for the rat and mouse; Detailed diagrams of each of the 34 spinal segments for rat and mouse, delineating the laminae of Rexed and all other significant neuronal groupings at each level. ; Alongside each of the 34 Nissl stained segments, there are additional sections displaying markers such as acetylcholinesterase, calbindin, calretinin, choline acetlytransferase, neurofilament protein (SMI 32), and neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN)
  • All the major motoneuron clusters are identified in relation to the individual muscles or muscle groups they supply


Spinal cord researchers including anatomists, physiologists, neuropharmacologists, and clinicians

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1
    The organization of the spinal cord
    Charles Watson and Gulgun Kayalioglu

    The gross anatomy of the spinal cord
    Spinal cord segments
    Spinal nerves
    Spinal cord gray and white matter.
    Lateral cervical nucleus
    Lateral spinal nucleus
    Onuf’s nucleus
    Central canal
    Spinal cord meninges
    Vasculature of the spinal cord

    Chapter 2
    Development of the spinal cord
    Ken WS Ashwell

    From neural plate to neural tube
    Neural crest development
    Alar and basal plates and their derivatives
    Segmentation of the developing spinal cord
    Motoneuron development and cell death
    Development of spinal cord afferents and dorsal horn interneurons
    Development of glia in the spinal cord
    Development of major ascending and descending tracts
    Myelination of spinal cord pathways
    Relative growth of the spinal cord and vertebral column

    Chapter 3
    The vertebral column and the spinal meninges
    Gulgun Kayalioglu

    The vertebral column
    General features of the vertebrae in mammals
    Interspecific variation in vertebral number
    The rodent vertebral column
    Cervical vertebrae in humans
    Thoracic vertebrae in humans
    Lumbar vertebrae in humans.
    The sacrum in humans
    The coccyx in humans
    Curvatures of the spine
    Joints of the vertebrae
    Joints between vertebral bodies
    Joints between vertebral arches
    The craniovertebral joints
    Lumbosacral joints
    Sacrococcygeal joint
    Intercoccygeal joints
    Sacro-iliac joints
    The intrinsic muscles of the vertebral column
    The spinal meninges
    Intermediate leptomeningeal layer

    Chapter 4
    The spinal nerves
    Gulgun Kayalioglu

    The anatomy of the dorsal and ventral roots and spinal nerves
    Dorsal root (spinal) ganglia
    Spinal nerves

    Chapter 5
    The spinal cord blood vessels
    Oscar U Scremin

    Blood flow and spinal cord function
    Capillary networks
    Spinal cord blood flow imaging
    Arterial anatomy
    Venous anatomy
    Spinal cord lymphatic drainage
    Experimental spinal cord ischemia
    Blood flow in spinal cord trauma

    Chapter 6
    Cytoarchitecture of the spinal cord
    Claire Heise and Gulgun Kayalioglu

    The laminae of Rexed
    Lamina 1
    Lamina 2
    Lamina 3
    Lamina 4
    The dorsal nucleus
    Lamina 5
    Lamina 6
    Lamina 7
    Lamina 8
    Lamina 9
    Lamina 10

    Chapter 7
    Localization of motoneurons in the spinal cord
    Steve McHanwell and Charles Watson

    Introduction – 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 cord
    Muscles of the perineum
    Deep muscles of the back and tail

    Chapter 8
    Spinal autonomic preganglionic neurons: the visceral efferent system of the spinal cord
    Colin R Anderson, Janet R Keast, and Elspeth M McLachlan

    Visceral 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 neurons
    Chemistry of synaptic inputs to preganglionic neurons
    Regulation of pelvic organ function

    Chapter 9
    Central nervous system control of micturition
    Gert Holstege and Han Collewijn

    Afferent fibers from bladder to sacral spinal cord
    Sensory endings in the bladder wall
    Sensory endings in the urethra
    Sacral cord
    Bladder C-fibers
    Bladder A-delta fibers
    Ascending projections
    Motor innervation of bladder and bladder sphincter
    Somatomotor innervation of the external bladder sphincter
    Sacral micturition reflexes
    Periaqueductal gray
    Pontine micturition center (PMC)
    Continence center or L-region
    Other brainstem-spinal pathways possibly involved in bladder
    and sphincter motoneuronal control
    Forebrain micturition control

    Chapter 10
    Projections from the spinal cord to the brain
    Gulgun Kayalioglu

    Ascending spinal projections in the ventrolateral funiculus
    Other ascending projections in the ventrolateral funiculus
    Projections from the spinal cord to the cerebellum
    The dorsal spinocerebellar tract
    Dorsal column ascending pathways

    Chapter 11
    Projections from the brain to the spinal cord
    Charles Watson and Alan R Harvey

    The corticospinal tract
    Hypothalamic and diencephalic projections to the spinal cord
    The rubrospinal tract
    The tectospinal tract
    Cerebellospinal projections
    The reticulospinal tracts
    Descending trigeminal and dorsal column nuclei projections
    The vestibulospinal tracts
    Raphespinal and coeruleospinal tracts
    The solitariospinal tract
    Projection from the retroambiguus nucleus to the spinal cord

    Chapter 12
    The propriospinal system
    Amanda C Conta and Dennis J Stelzner

    The propriospinal system: definition and overall function
    Subgroups of propriospinal networks
    Propriospinal networks and neurotransmitters
    Locomotor propriospinal system across species
    Propriospinal projections and experimental spinal cord injury

    Chapter 13
    Spinal cord transmitter substances
    Claire Heise and Gulgun Kayalioglu

    Cholinergic neurons
    Substance P
    Noradrenergic projections to the spinal cord
    Serotoninergic projections from the raphe
    Dopaminergic projections to the spinal cord

    Chapter 14
    Spinal cord injury: experimental animal models and relation to human therapy.
    Stuart I Hodgetts, Giles W Plant, and Alan R Harvey

    General pathophysiology of SCI
    Types of spinal cord injury
    Immune and inflammatory responses following SCI
    Methods to induce spinal cord injury
    Assessing functional recovery in animal models of SCI
    Assessing human functional recovery
    Differences between animal models and humans and functional recovery after SCI
    Strategies to treat SCI
    Clinical trials

    Chapter 15
    Atlas of the rat spinal cord
    Charles Watson, George Paxinos. Gulgun Kayalioglu, and Claire Heise

    Cresyl violet staining and AChE histochemistry
    Immunohistochemical processing
    Photography 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 mouse
    List of structures
    Rat spinal cord figures and plates

    Chapter 16
    Atlas of the mouse spinal cord
    Charles Watson, George Paxinos. Gulgun Kayalioglu, and Claire Heise

    Mouse spinal cord sections provided by the Allen Institute for Brain Science
    Photography and diagrams
    Basis of delineation of structures
    List of structures
    Mouse spinal cord figures and plates

    Chapter 17
    Toward a spinal cord ontology
    Charles Watson and Amandeep Sidhu

    What is an ontology?
    Regional subdivisions in the spinal cord
    A 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 groups
    Detailed similarities between the arrangement of motoneuron groups in the brachial and lumbar enlargements
    Similarities between the segments that immediately precede the upper and lower limb enlargements
    Does this spinal cord ontology have any practical application?

Product details

  • No. of pages: 408
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2008
  • Published: November 12, 2008
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080921389
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123742476

About the Editors

Charles Watson

Charles Watson is a neuroscientist and public health physician. His qualifications included a medical degree (MBBS) and two research doctorates (MD and DSc). He is Professor Emeritus at Curtin University, and holds adjunct professorial research positions at the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, and the University of Western Australia. He has published over 100 refereed journal articles and 40 book chapters, and has co-authored over 25 books on brain and spinal cord anatomy. The Paxinos Watson rat brain atlas has been cited over 80,000 times. His current research is focused on the comparative anatomy of the hippocampus and the claustrum. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Sydney in 2012 and received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Australasian Society for Neuroscience in 2018.

Affiliations and Expertise

John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Health Science, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia and Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW Sydney, Australia

George Paxinos

George Paxinos
Professor George Paxinos, AO (BA, MA, PhD, DSc) completed his BA at The University of California at Berkeley, his PhD at McGill University, and spent a postdoctoral year at Yale University. He is the author of almost 50 books on the structure of the brain of humans and experimental animals, including The Rat Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates, now in its 7th Edition, which is ranked by Thomson ISI as one of the 50 most cited items in the Web of Science. Dr. Paxinos paved the way for future neuroscience research by being the first to produce a three-dimensional (stereotaxic) framework for placement of electrodes and injections in the brain of experimental animals, which is now used as an international standard. He was a member of the first International Consortium for Brain Mapping, a UCLA based consortium that received the top ranking and was funded by the NIMH led Human Brain Project. Dr. Paxinos has been honored with more than nine distinguished awards throughout his years of research, including: The Warner Brown Memorial Prize (University of California at Berkeley, 1968), The Walter Burfitt Prize (1992), The Award for Excellence in Publishing in Medical Science (Assoc Amer Publishers, 1999), The Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2001), The Alexander von Humbolt Foundation Prize (Germany 2004), and more.

Affiliations and Expertise

Neuroscience Research Australia and The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Gulgun Kayalioglu

Affiliations and Expertise

Ege University, Izmir, Turkey

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