Spinal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve
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The spinal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is one of three major nuclei that make up the trigeminal sensory nerve nuclear complex along with the main sensory nucleus and the mesencephalic nucleus 1-2.
The spinal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is a paired structure and is an inferior continuation of the main sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve within the caudal lower pons. It extends inferiorly through the medulla to the level of the upper cervical cord (approximately C2 to C3 levels) where it becomes continuous with the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. The spinal nucleus lies ventral to the vestibular and cochlear nuclei and medial to the inferior cerebellar peduncles.
The spinal nucleus receives afferent impulses from the unilateral face which convey information about pain, temperature and crude touch. The nucleus also receives sensory afferent impulses from other cranial nerves:
- 1. Lynley Bradnam, Christine Barry. The Role of the Trigeminal Sensory Nuclear Complex in the Pathophysiology of Craniocervical Dystonia. (2013) Journal of Neuroscience. 33 (47): 18358. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3544-13.2013 - Pubmed
- 2. Shmuel Price, Daniel T. Daly. Neuroanatomy, Nucleus Trigeminal. (2019) Pubmed