Plate 17.316 Spinal Cord
Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Human, Müller's fluid, carmine stain, 8 x.
Dorsal root: The dorsal root carries both myelinated and unmyelinated afferent fibers to the spinal cord. Each fiber is the central process of a dorsal root ganglion cell.
Posterior gray column: Long and narrow column of gray matter reaches almost to the surface of the spinal cord. Primarily concerned with sensory input.
Anterior gray column: Short and broad column of gray matter. Concerned with motor function. Both posterior and anterior gray columns are sites where sensory and motor cell bodies, respectively, are found.
Ventral root: Bundle of somatic motor fibers (axons of somatic motor neurons) and preganglionic fibers (axons of autonomic motor neurons). Constitute the efferent outflow of the spinal cord.
Anterior median fissure: About 3 mm deep. Contains blood vessels (anterior spinal artery) supplying the anterior two thirds of the cord.
Anterior lateral sulcus: Site of exit of ventral root. Hardly distinguishable in this preparation.
Anterior funiculus: Between the anterior median fissure and anterolateral sulcus (ventral root). Merges with the lateral funiculus. Contains ascending and descending tracts.
Lateral funiculus: Between the dorsal and ventral roots. Merges with the anterior funiculus. Contains ascending and descending tracts.
Posterior lateral sulcus: Site of entry of dorsal root.
Posterior funiculus: Between posterior median sulcus and dorsal root. Contains ascending tracts. Posterior intermediate septum: Found only in cervical and upper thoracic segments. Posterior median sullcus: About 5 mm deep, reaches the deep-lying gray matter.
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