Formed by the union of ventral root & dorsal root of the spinal cord within the intervertebral foramen.
Ventral root carry fibers come from anterior horn nuclei(motor in function) and arise from anterolateral sulcus of spinal cord
Dorsal root carry fibers comes from posterior horn nuclei of grey matter (sensory in function) arise from postero-lateral sulcus of spinal cord
|31 pairs of Spinal nerve
||7 cervical vertebrae
|12 thoracic spinal nerve
||12 thoracic vertebrae
|5 lumber nerve
||5 lumbar vertebrae
| 5 sacral
||5 sacral vertebra fused as one
|1 coccygeal nerve
||4 coccygeal vertebrae fused as one
All spinal nerve passes through intervertebral foramen except:
1st cervical nerve — passes through dorsal part of the superior articular surface of the C1 vertebra
- 5th sacral nerve and 1st coccygeal nerve through sacral hiatus
Difference between ventral root and dorsal root of spinal nerve
No ganglion in the ventral root
Dorsal root ganglia (contain pseudounipolar neuron).
1st order neurons of all ascending tracts arise from this
|Ventral root motor in function
||Dorsal root sensory in function
Ganglia are the collection of the nerve cell body in PNS (spinal nerve and spinal cord)
Nuclei are the collection of nerve cell body within CNS (brain and spinal cord)
Eg. Basal nuclei, red nucleus, cranial nuclei, spinal nuclei (anterior horn and posterior horn nuclei)
Branches of spinal nerve
Dorsal Ramus — supplies dorsal body wall (not to limbs)
Ventral Ramus — supplies ventral body wall and also upper limb and lower limb.
Functional components of spinal nerve
Main theme: Spinal nerve is a mixed nerve
- Sensory from body wall & viscera
- Motor to muscle & viscera
General somatic afferent(GSA) sensory from the body wall to dorsal root ganglia
General visceral afferent(GVA) sensory from viscera to dorsal root ganglia
General somatic efferent(GSE) motor to skeletal muscle
General visceral efferent(GVE) motor to viscera(smooth and cardiac muscle)
Content of vertebral canal (formed by combined vertebral foramen)
- Spinal cord with its meninges and blood vessels ie.one anterior and two posterior spinal arteries
Spinal meninges ie. dura mater, (arachnoid mater, pia mater together form leptomeninges)
Potential space between meninges
- Epidural space between spinal dura mater & periosteum of the vertebral canal
- Subdural space (below dura mater)
- Sub Arachnoid space (below arachnoid, between the pia and arachnoid mater) contain CSF and blood vessels
Note: Spinal dura mater only consists of the meninges layer of dura mater.
Means spinal dura mater is the continuation of the meningeal layer of cranial dura mater
Spinal leptomeninges is also the continuation of the cranial leptomeninges
Cranial dura mater contains both endosteal and meningeal layer of dura mater.
Intervertebral foramen (formed by inferior vertebral peduncle & superior vertebral peduncle)
Here, Formation of spinal nerve occur
Extension: From medulla at the level of the upper border of the atlas to lower border of 1st lumbar vertebra.
In case of the child, up to L3 vertebra
Superiorly continues as medulla oblongata and inferiorly terminates as conus medullaris.
- Lower tapering end of the spinal cord is called conus medullaris.
- The extension of pia mater below the level of conus medullaris is called film terminalis.
- Dorsal and ventral nerve roots of L2-L5, S1-S5 & Co1 collectively known as cauda equina.
I) Dura mater and arachnoid mater extend up to lower border S2 vertebra.
II) Subarachnoid space (between arachnoid mater and pia mater) also extends up to the S2 vertebra.
Thus CSF only presents up to S2 vertebra.
But pia mater extends up to 1st segment of the coccyx.
Below the conus medullaris, pia mater get fused extend as a thread-like structure called filum terminalis.
- Below the lower border of L1, the spinal cord is absent. And up to S2 CSF present. That’s why lumbar puncture can be done between below L2to S2
- Actually done between L3-L4vertebra or L4-L5
- Lumbar puncture is a procedure to withdraw CSF( colorless fluid) for various examinations.
Pia mater surrounding the spinal cord get fused below the conus medullaris and extended as thread-like structures.
Up to the dorsal of 1st piece of coccyx
1) Filum terminalis internum:
As Duramater & arachnoid mater extended up to2nd sacral segment, filum terminalis within this sheath is called filum terminalis internum.
2) Filum terminalis externum:
Below the 2nd sacral segment, no dura & pia mater covering the Filum terminalis
Extend up to 1st coccygeal segment
Transverse section of Different spinal segment
- Cervical enlargement to supply upper limb (origin of brachial plexus ie.root value C5- T1)
- No lateral horn
- Anterior horn (motor in function) broader than the posterior horn as motor supply to the upper limb.
Note: Ventral ramus which arises from the anterior horn of the grey matter of the spinal cord only takes part to form plexus.
Dorsal ramus doesn’t form plexus.
- No enlargement
- Anterior horn and posterior horn narrow; no supply to the limb
- Lateral horn present.
Lateral horn only presents between T1-T12 and L1 & L2 segment for the supply of viscera. Form part of the autonomic nervous system; present for thoracolumbar flow.
Give rise to preganglionic sympathetic fibers.
Sympathetic fibers from the lateral horn — the ventral root of spinal nerve — Trunk of spinal nerve — Ventral ramus — sympathetic ganglion (collectively form sympathetic chain)
Lateral horn also present in Sacral S2-S4, form pelvic splanchnic nerves for visceral supply ie.hindgut, urinary bladder, genital organs, sexual function (erection= complex vascular and parasympathetic process)
Autonomic nervous system (a kind of motor supply)
Sympathetic nerve: Thoracolumbar outflow
Parasympathetic nerve: Craniosacral outflow (III, VII, IX, X Cranial nerve)
- Lumbar enlargement due to origin of lumbar plexus( for lower limb supply)
- Lateral horn only present in L1& L2
- Anterior & posterior horn broad.
- No enlargement
- Lateral horn present (S2-S4) for pelvic splanchnic nerves
Features of spinal cord
Anterior median fissure lodge for anterior spinal artery, formed by the fusion of branches of 4th part of (Rt. & Lf.)vertebral arteries
Two posterolateral sulci each lodges for posterior spinal artery, branch of 4th part of vertebral artery
- Outer white matter
- Inner grey matter
- Center of grey matter have central canal containing CSF
But in cerebrum & cerebellum, Outer grey matter & inner white matter.
In brain stem(mid-brain, pons, medulla) —outer white matter with dispersed nuclei(as grey matter ) within white matter.
- Each half is divided into anterior, lateral & posterior region by anterolateral & posterolateral sulcui.
- Ventral motor root arises from anterolateral sulcus.
- Dorsal sensory root arises from posterolateral sulcus
- Anterior horn- consists of motor nuclei
Axon of these nuclei give lies to the ventral root of spinal nerve
- Posterior horn- consists of sensory nuclei
Axon of these sensory nuclei give rise to the dorsal root of spinal nerve
- Lateral horn present only in T1-L2 which give rise to sympathetic fibers for visceral supply which also passes through the ventral root of spinal nerve
And lateral horn in S2-S4 gives arise to parasympathetic fibers with also passes through the ventral root
Note: There are no other parasympathetic fibers arising from the spinal cord rather than S2-S3.
All other parasympathetic fibers are from cranial nerve(3,7,9,10)
Division of white matter
- Anterior white column (Anterior funiculus)
- Lateral White column (Posterior funiculus)
- Posterior white column(Lateral funiculus)
Note: Tract(collection of nerve fibers) travel through these white columns
- Descending tract(motor) travel through the white column and only synapse with nuclei of anterior horn nuclei of grey matter for supply.
- Similarly ascending tracts (sensory) after synapse with posterior horn nuclei of grey matter, ascend and travel through these white columns.
Note: Collectively, nerve fibers form tracts in CNS (brain & spinal cord) and this nerve fiber after synapse with nuclei of grey matter emerge as PNS( cranial nerve & spinal nerve)
And tracts form major max.portion of white matter.
White matter be called a pathway of nerve fibers(tracts)
White matter consists of
- Nerve fibers, blood vessels & neuroglia
Grey matter consists of
- Nerve cell body,
- Blood vessels and neuroglia (supporting cell)
Note: Collection of nerve cell body form nuclei/ nucleus in CNS
Eg.anterior, lateral & posterior horn nuclei of the grey matter of the spinal cord
In brain— basal ganglia, thalamus, intracerebellar nuclei, red nucleus, Edinger-Westphal nucleus
Collection of the nerve cell body in PNS( spinal & cranial nerve) form ganglia.
Eg.dorsal root ganglia in spinal nerve, 4 parasympathetic ganglia in cranial nerve, sympathetic chain/ ganglia in ventral ramus of T1-L2 spinal nerves
Commissure means the connection between two hemispheres
- Connection Between white matter of two hemispheres — White commissure
- Connection Between grey matter of two hemispheres— Grey commissure
Nuclei present in posterior horn of grey matter of the spinal cord
- Posteromarginal nucleus
- Substantial gelatinosa—For pain pathway
- Nucleus proprius
- Nucleus dorsalis
Blood supply of spinal cord
- One Anterior spinal artery (lodge in anteromedian fissure)
Formed by the fusion of branches from the 4th part of the right and left vertebral arteries.
_Supply anterior 2/3rd of spinal cord
- Two posterior spinal arteries (lodge in posterolateral sulci)
Branches of 4th part of vertebral artery
_Supply posterior 1/3rd of spinal cord
To six longitudinal channels
- One anteromedian vein
- One posteromedian vein
- Two Anterolateral vein
- Two posterolateral vein
These all drain to intervertebral venous plexus
Histology of spinal cord
Embryology/ development of spinal cord
Develop from neural tube (neuroectoderm)
Neural tube — formed by folding and closure of neural plate.
During neural tube formation, cells outside neural tube form neural crest cells, which migrate to different place and form
- Cranial nerve ganglia
- Parasympathetic ganglia (3,7,9,10)
- Dorsal root ganglia of spinal nerve
- Sympathetic chain/ganglia of T1-L2 segment of spinal nerve