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Sacral Part of Autonomic Division
Nervous System

Sacral Part of Autonomic Division

Pars sacralis divisionis autonomicae

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Description

The sacral part of the autonomic division refers to the parasympathetic fibers that originate in the lateral horn at the S2-S4 spinal cord levels. These fibers form pelvic splanchnic nerves which run to the hypogastric plexuses and from there to glands, smooth muscle, and viscera of the hindgut, bladder, and reproductive organs.

In the hindgut, sacral parasympathetic fibers drive smooth muscle contraction to propel fecal matter towards the anus, as well as glandular secretion (Standring, 2016).

In the bladder, sacral parasympathetic fibers drive smooth muscle contraction to empty the bladder.

In the pelvis, sacral parasympathetic fibers are vasodilators of the erectile tissue of the penis and clitoris.

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References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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