Anatomical and physiological observations on supraspinal control of bladder and urethral sphincter muscles in the cat

J Comp Neurol. 1986 Aug 22;250(4):449-61. doi: 10.1002/cne.902500404.


In 15 cats injections of 3H-leucine were made in the pontine tegmentum. Injections in the medial part of the dorsolateral pontine tegmentum (M-region) resulted in specific projections to the sacral intermediomedial and intermediolateral cell groups. The intermediolateral cell group contains preganglionic parasympathetic neurons that form the motor supply of the detrusor muscle of the bladder. Injections in the lateral part of the pontine tegmental field (L-region) produced labeled fibers in the nucleus of Onuf, which contains motoneurons innervating the pelvic floor including the anal and urethral sphincters. L-region projections to the sacral preganglionic parasympathetic neurons and M-region projections to the nucleus of Onuf were very limited or absent. In 12 cats physiological experiments were performed. Electrical stimulation in the L-region elicited a prompt increase in the pelvic floor EMG and urethral pressure but had little influence on the intravesical pressure. Stimulation in the M-region elicited a prompt decrease in the pelvic floor EMG and urethral pressure followed, after a delay of 2 seconds, by an increase in the intravesical pressure, so simulating normal micturition.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electromyography
  • Leucine
  • Microinjections
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / innervation*
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / anatomy & histology
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / physiology*
  • Urethra / anatomy & histology
  • Urethra / innervation*
  • Urethra / physiology
  • Urinary Bladder / anatomy & histology
  • Urinary Bladder / innervation*
  • Urinary Bladder / physiology


  • Leucine