A fundamental change in neuroanatomy: Sacral outflow is sympathetic

Micro Blog: Sacral outflow is sympathetic

Image Credit: Gray's Anatomy: Public Domain

Image Credit: Gray's Anatomy: Public Domain

For a long time it was assumed knowledge that pelvic viscera and sexual response functions were supplied by parasympathetic neurons, new research published in the journal Science reports that Sacral outflow is sympathetic. (Espinosa-Medina et al. 2016)

Researchers used a modern approach to demonstrate that autonomic neurons in the sacral cord are sympathetic not parasympathetic. It is too early to speculate to how this will change medical treatments, but one thing is for sure that there will be a need to re-write major textbooks.


Espinosa-Medina, I., Saha, O., Boismoreau, F., Chettouh, Z., Rossi, F., Richardson, W. D., Brunet, J.-F. (2016). The sacral autonomic outflow is sympathetic. Science, Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 893-897.