Superior salivary nucleus

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 13 Oct 2022

The superior salivatory (or salivary) nucleus of the facial nerve is a visceromotor parasympathetic cranial nerve nucleus located in the pontine tegmentum.

Gross anatomy

The superior salivatory nucleus is located just cranial to the inferior salivatory nucleus within the dorsal aspect of the pons just superior to the pontomedullary junction. It lies superior and dorsal to the nucleus ambiguus and medial to both the solitary tract nucleus and spinal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve.


The superior salivatory nucleus provides the origin of the parasympathetic preganglionic neurons which supply the submandibular and sublingual glands via the submandibular ganglion. It also provides parasympathetic innervation to the lacrimal gland via the pterygopalatine ganglion.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: lower pons anatomy - CN VII (diagram)
    Drag here to reorder.
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