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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01110

Vagal afferent processing by the paratrigeminal nucleus

  • 1The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2Anatomy and Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

The paratrigeminal nucleus is an obscure region in the dorsal lateral medulla, which has been best characterised as a collection of interstitial cells located in the dorsal tip of the spinal trigeminal tract. The paratrigeminal nucleus receives afferent input from the vagus, trigeminal, spinal and glossopharyngeal nerves, which contribute to its long-known roles in the baroreceptor reflex and nociceptive processing. More recently, studies have shown that this region is also involved in the processing of airway-derived sensory information. Notably, these studies highlight an underappreciated complex in the neuronal content and circuit connectivity of the paratrigeminal nucleus. However, much remains to be understood about how paratrigeminal processing of vagal afferents is altered in disease. The aim of the present review is to provide an update of the current understanding of vagal afferent processing in the paratrigeminal nucleus and to explore how dysregulation at this site may contribute to vagal sensory neural dysfunction during disease.

Keywords: paratrigeminal, vagal afferents, Respiratory, Nociception, jugular vagal ganglia

Received: 30 May 2019; Accepted: 12 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Vaughan G. Macefield, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia

Reviewed by:

Simon McMullan, Macquarie University, Australia
Winfried Neuhuber, University of Erlangen Nuremberg, Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Driessen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Alexandria K. Driessen, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, driessena@unimelb.edu.au