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Laurie Kelly McCorry, PhD
Corresponding author.

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Corresponding author: Laurie Kelly McCorry, PhD. Just State College, 122 republic Avenue, Boston, MA 02116.

This manuscript discusses the physiology that the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The adhering to topics room presented: regulation that activity; efferent pathways; sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions; neurotransmitters, their receptors and the termination of their activity; attributes of the ANS; and the adrenal medullae. In addition, the applications of this material to the exercise of pharmacy is of one-of-a-kind interest. Two case studies concerning insecticide poisoning and pheochromocytoma are included. The ANS and the accompanying case studies are disputed over 5 lectures and 2 recitation sections during a 2-semester course in Human Physiology. The students room in the first-professional year the the physician of pharmacy program.

Keywords: autonomic concerned system, sympathetic, parasympathetic, adrenergic, cholinergic, physiology


This manuscript presents a thorough review that the autonomic nervous system (ANS). A thorough understanding of this system is quite necessary as it prepares the pharmacy student for further studies in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and also therapeutics. The ANS dram a an essential role in the maintenance of homeostasis. Furthermore, this system may play a duty in numerous systemic illness (eg, love failure) and also drugs that affect this device may enhance (eg, β2-adrenergic agonists and also asthma) or exacerbate (eg, α1-adrenergic agonists and also hypertension) various condition symptoms and processes. Return this manuscript focuses primarily ~ above the straightforward anatomy and also physiology of the ANS, referrals to diseases and medications entailing the ANS are had to illustrate the applications of this mechanism to the exercise of pharmacy.

The ANS and also the accompanying situation studies are discussed over 5 lectures and 2 recitation sections during a 2-semester course in Human Physiology. The lectures frequently include 300-325 students, return the recitation sections are lot smaller with 20-30 students. The students room in the very first professional year that a physician of pharmacy program.

Also well-known as the visceral or involuntary worried system, the ANS features without conscious, voluntarily control. Because it innervates cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and also various endocrine and exocrine glands, this nervous system influences the activity of most tissues and also organ systems in the body. Therefore, the ANS provides a significant contribution come homeostasis. The regulation the blood pressure, cradle responses come food, contraction of the urinary bladder, focusing of the eyes, and also thermoregulation are just a couple of of the many homeostatic functions regulated through the ANS.

At this suggest in the course discussion, us take a rest from our traditional classroom layout for a story about my next door neighbor, Joe, and also my skeleton, Matilda. Interestingly, the ANS is debated in this Human Physiology course in mid to late October (ie, roughly Halloween time). Joe pipeline for occupational at 5:00 am as soon as it is still rather dark outside. Top top Halloween Eve, we inserted Matilda in the driver"s chair of Joe"s pickup truck. Halloween morning, we emerged at 4:45 am, poured coffee, and waited patiently by the home window located nearest come Joe"s truck. Fully unsuspecting, Joe came walking under the driveway at his usual time. When he opened the truck door, the sound the “Aghhhh!!!” wrong the quiet that the morning. Bad Joe was standing by his truck wide-eyed and also clutching his chest. Upon opening our window, us cheerfully wished our friend a “Happy Halloween!” back Joe"s solution to our holiday greeting can not be published in this article, suffice it come say that the students always enjoy it immensely.

I now ask the course “What taken place to Joe?” numerous events arisen in his body at once. His heart started racing, his blood push increased, his college student dilated, he started sweating, the hair ~ above his arms and the back of his neck was standing on end, and he feel a surging of adrenaline. These are few of the results of sympathetic nervous activity in Joe"s body. Meanwhile, together we waited because that Joe"s at an early stage morning arrival, the events emerging in my human body were rather different. My heart rate was comparatively slower and my digestive device was handling the cream and sugar in my coffee. These are some of the impacts of parasympathetic worried activity. I tell mine students that during the next several course periods lock will learn in great detail about the plenty of functions of the sympathetic and also parasympathetic concerned systems, the neurotransmitters exit by your neurons, the receptors to which castle bind, and also how it is all regulated. In ~ this point, the students frequently look as afraid together Joe did that Halloween morning. I reassure them (and remind them repeatedly) the it is not crucial to memorize very much at all. Ns encourage them to let it make sense. The sympathetic mechanism controls “fight-or-flight” responses. In other words, this device prepares the body for strenuous physical activity. The events that us would intend to take place within the human body to permit this to happen do, in fact, occur. The parasympathetic system regulates “rest and also digest” functions. In various other words, this device controls an easy bodily attributes while one is sit quietly analysis a book.

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Specific learning objectives for the discussion of the autonomic worried system include the following:

Explain how various areas of the central nervous system regulate autonomic nervous device function;

Explain just how autonomic reflexes add to homeostasis;

Describe exactly how the neuroeffector junction in the autonomic nervous system differs from that of a neuron-to-neuron synapse;

Compare and also contrast the anatomical attributes of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems;

For every neurotransmitter in the autonomic worried system, perform the neurons that release them and also the form and place of receptors that bind through them;

Describe the mechanism by which neurotransmitters space removed;

Distinguish in between cholinergic and also adrenergic receptors;

Describe the as whole and certain functions that the sympathetic system;

Describe the in its entirety and details functions of the parasympathetic system; and

Explain just how the effects of the catecholamines differ from those of straight sympathetic stimulation.