parasympathetic division (coronary plexuses)

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The parasympathetic division of the coronary plexuses can be considered in terms of:

  • general visceral motor fibres:
    • derived from vagus nerve:
      • directly via superior and inferior cardiac branches
      • indirectly via recurrent laryngeal nerves
    • these are preganglionic fibres with their cell bodies in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve
  • they pass through the coronary plexus to synapse with ganglia within the heart wall e.g. the ganglia of the sinoatrial node
    • stimulation produces negative inotropy, chronotropy and coronary artery vasoconstriction
  • general visceral afferent fibres:
    • originate in the walls of the carotid body and sinus
    • preganglionic fibres have their cell bodies in the inferior vagal ganglion
    • centrally synapse with the nucleus of tractus solitarius
    • involved with baroreceptor reflexes

Last reviewed 01/2018