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Main sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve

The main or chief sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is one of three major nuclei that make up the trigeminal sensory nerve nuclear complex along with the mesencephalic nucleus and the spinal nucleus 1-2. It also receives fibers from the glossopharyngeal nerve.

Some older texts refer to it as the pontine trigeminal nucleus due to its location.

Gross Anatomy

The main sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is located within the caudal aspect of the pons. It lies inferior to the mesencephalic nucleus and superior to the spinal nucleus and is continuous with both. It lies dorsomedial to the entering trigeminal root and also lateral to the motor trigeminal nucleus.


The main sensory nucleus receives facial tactile sensation in addition to receiving proprioceptive input from the temporomandibular joint.

The nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is conventionally divided into dorsomedial and ventrolateral divisions 2. The dorsomedial division receives afferent input from the oral cavity. The ventrolateral division receives input from all three divisions (V1-V3) of the trigeminal nerve.

Anatomy: Brain

Anatomy: Brain

Article information

rID: 76682
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • pontine trigeminal nucleus
  • chief trigeminal sensory nucleus
  • main trigeminal sensory nucleus
  • chief sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve
  • chief sensory nucleus
  • main sensory nucleus

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: brainstem sensory nuclei - Gray's anatomy illustration
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  • Figure 2: brainstem nuclei: dorsal section - Gray's anatomy illustration
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  • Figure 3: pontine anatomy - CN V (diagram)
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  • Figure 4: upper medulla anatomy - CN IX (diagram)
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