Commentary on: Efferent connections of the parabrachial nucleus in the rat. C.B. Saper and A.D. Loewy, Brain Research 197:291-317, 1980

Brain Res. 2016 Aug 15;1645:15-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2016.01.009. Epub 2016 Jan 11.


By the late 1970׳s, the pathways had been identified from neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract that control visceral sensory inflow and from the paraventricular nucleus and lateral hypothalamus that directly innervate the autonomic preganglionic neurons, thereby controlling autonomic outflow. However, the connections between the two were not yet clear. This paper identified the parabrachial nucleus as a key intermediary, receiving the bulk of outflow from the nucleus of the solitary tract and distributing it to a set of brainstem and forebrain sites that constituted a central autonomic control network. This work also identified the insular cortex as a key visceral sensory cortical area. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue.

Keywords: Autonomic; Insular; Parabrachial.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nervous System / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • History, 20th Century
  • Neuroanatomical Tract-Tracing Techniques / history
  • Neuroanatomy / history*
  • Neuroanatomy / methods
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Parabrachial Nucleus / anatomy & histology*
  • Rats
  • Solitary Nucleus / anatomy & histology