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Encyclopedia > Locus ceruleus

The Locus ceruleus, also spelled locus caeruleus or locus coeruleus (Latin for 'the blue spot'), is a nucleus in the brain stem responsible for physiological responses to stress and panic. The term brain stem (truncus encephali is a Latin synonym) refers to a composite substructure of the brain. ... Physiology (in Greek physis = nature and logos = word) is the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms. ... This picture shows an exaggerated expression of stress. ... Panic is a sudden fear which dominates thinking and often affects groups of people or animals. ...


The locus ceruleus (or "LC") resides on the dorsal wall of the upper pons, under the cerebellum in the caudal midbrain, surrounded by the fourth ventricle. This nucleus is one of the main sources of norepinephrine in the brain, and is composed of mostly medium-sized neurons. Melanin granules inside the LC contribute to its blue color; it is thereby also known as the nucleus pigmentosus pontis, meaning "heavily pigmented nucleus of the pons". The neuromelanin is formed by the polymerization of norepinephrine and is analogous to the black dopamine-based neuromelanin in the substantia nigra. Position of the pons in the human brain The pons (sometimes pons Varolii after Costanzo Varolio) is a knob on the brain stem. ... Figure 1a: A human brain, with the cerebellum in purple. ... In zootomy, several terms are used to describe the location of organs and other structures in the body of bilateral animals. ... In biological anatomy, the mesencephalon (or midbrain) is the middle of three vesicles that arise from the neural tube that forms the brain of developing animals. ... The fourth ventricle is one of the four connected fluid-filled cavities within the human brain. ... Norepinephrine or noradrenaline is a catecholamine and a phenethylamine with chemical formula C8H11NO3. ... Broadly, melanin is any of the polyacetylene, polyaniline, and polypyrrole blacks or their mixed copolymers. ... Melanin is a polymer of either or both of two monomer molecules: indolequinone, and dihydroxyindole carboxylic acid. ... Polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form linear chains or a three-dimensional network of polymer chains [1]. There are many forms of polymerization and different systems exist to categorize them. ... Dopamine is a chemical naturally produced in the body. ... The substantia nigra (Latin for black substance) is a portion of the midbrain thought to be involved in certain aspects of movement and attention. ...


The locus ceruleus was first discovered by Félix Vicq-d'Azyr. Félix Vicq-dAzyr Félix Vicq-dAzyr (b. ...

Contents


Anatomical connections

The projections of this nucleus reach far and wide, innervating the spinal cord, the brain stem, cerebellum, hypothalamus, the thalamic relay nuclei, the amygdala, the basal telencephalon, and the cortex. The norepinephrine from the LC has an excitatory effect on most of the brain, mediating arousal and priming the brain’s neurons to be activated by stimuli. It has been said that a single noradrenergic neuron can innervate, via its branches, the entire cerebral cortex. Figure 1a: A human brain, with the cerebellum in purple. ...


As the main homeostatic control center of the brain, the locus ceruleus receives afferents from the hypothalamus. The cingulate gyrus and the amygdala also innervate the LC, allowing emotional pain and stressors to trigger noradrenergic responses. The cerebellum and afferents from the raphe nuclei also project to the LC, particularly the raphe pontis and raphe dorsalis. Homeostasis is the property of an open system, especially living organisms, to regulate its internal environment to maintain a stable, constant condition, by means of multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments, controlled by interrelated regulation mechanisms. ... In the nervous system, afferent nerves carry nerve impulses towards the brain. ... In the anatomy of mammals, the hypothalamus is a region of the brain located below the thalamus, forming the major portion of the ventral region of the diencephalon and functioning to regulate certain metabolic processes and other autonomic activities. ... Cingulate gyrus is a gyrus in the medial part of the brain. ... Location of the amygdala in the human brain The amygdala (Latin, corpus amygdaloideum) is an almond-shaped set of neurons located deep in the brains medial temporal lobe. ... The raphe nuclei (Latin for the bit in a fold or seam) is a moderately sized cluster of nuclei found in the brain stem, and releases serotonin to the rest of the brain. ...


The locus ceruleus receives inputs from a number of other brain regions, primarily:

  • Medial prefrontal cortex. The connection is constant, excitatory, and increases in strength with raised activity levels in the subject.
  • Nucleus paragigantocellularis. This region integrates autonomic and environmental stimuli.
  • Nucleus prepositus hypoglossi. This region is involved in gaze.
  • Lateral hypothalamus. This releases orexin which, as well as its other functions, is excitatory in the locus ceruleus.

For the meaning of medial in anatomy, see anatomical terms of location. ... // Location and Function The prefrontal cortex is the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain, lying in front of the motor and associative areas. ... Anatomy and Physiology of the A.N.S. In contrast to the voluntary nervous system, the involuntary or autonomic nervous system is responsible for homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment by controlling such involuntary functions as digestion, respiration, and metabolism, and by modulating energy needed to cope with stressful... Devils Punchbowl Waterfall, New Zealand. ... In the anatomy of mammals, the hypothalamus is a region of the brain located below the thalamus, forming the major portion of the ventral region of the diencephalon and functioning to regulate certain metabolic processes and other autonomic activities. ... Orexins, also called hypocretins, are the common names given to a pair of highly excititory neuropeptide hormones that were simultaneously discovered by two groups of reseachers in rat brains. ...

Function

The locus ceruleus is widely studied in relation to clinical depression, panic disorder, and anxiety. Some antidepressant medications including Reboxetine, Venlafaxine, and Bupropion as well as ADHD medication Atomoxetine are believed to act on neurons in this area. This area of the brain is also intimately involved in REM sleep. Clinical depression is a state of sadness or melancholia that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ... Anxiety refers to a complex combination of negative emotions that includes fear, apprehension and worry, and is often accompanied by physical sensations such as palpitations, nausea, chest pain and/or shortness of breath. ... Reboxetine is an antidepressant drug used in the treatment of clinical depression, panic disorder and ADD/ADHD. Its mesilate ( methanesulfonate) salt is sold under tradenames including Edronax®, Norebox®, Prolift®, Solvex® or Vestra®. Reboxetine has two chiral centers, but it only exists as two enantiomers, (R,R)-(-)- and (S,S)-(+)-reboxetine. ... Venlafaxine hydrochloride is a synthetic derivative of phenethylamine and a prescription antidepressant first introduced by Wyeth in 1993, and marketed under the trade names Effexor® for tablets and Effexor XR® for extended-release capsules. ... Bupropion (amfebutamone) (brand names Wellbutrin and Zyban) is an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, chemically unrelated to tricyclics or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). ... DISCLAIMER Please remember that Wikipedia is offered for informational use only. ... Atomoxetine is a drug used in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ... Drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal of cells in the pigeon cerebellum. ... Rapid eye movement (REM) is the stage of sleep during which the most vivid (though not all) dreams occur. ...


Psychiatric research has documented that enhanced noradrenergic postsynaptic responsiveness in the neuronal pathway (brain circuit) that originates in the locus ceruleus and end in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala is a major factor in the pathophysiology of most stress-induced fear-circuitry disorders and especially in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The LC neurons are probably the origin of the first or second “leg” of what has been recently termed the "PTSD candidate circuit." Combat-related PTSD (in a 2005 study of deceased American army veterans from World War II) was shown to be associated with a postmortem diminished number of neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) on the right side of the brain.[citation needed] The role of the LC in PTSD may explain the dramatic effectiveness of two generic medications; propranolol and prazosin for the secondary prevention and treatment of PTSD, respectively.[citation needed] Location of the amygdala in the human brain The amygdala (Latin, corpus amygdaloideum) is an almond-shaped set of neurons located deep in the brains medial temporal lobe. ... Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a term for the psychological consequences of exposure to or confrontation with stressful experiences, which involve actual or threatened death, serious physical injury or a threat to physical integrity and which the person found highly traumatic. ... // Pharmacology and Indications Propranolol (Inderal®) is a non-selective beta blocker (i. ... Prazosin, brand name Minipress®, is a medication used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). ...


Linguistic Notes

Caeruleus is the classical Latin spelling, and coeruleus a slightly rarer archaic form. The spelling ceruleus, formed by contraction of the diphthongs ae or oe into e, is the modernized form.


See also

The raphe nucleus (Latin for the bit in a fold or seam) is a moderately sized cluster of neurons found in the brain stem, and releases serotonin to the rest of the brain. ... The substantia nigra (Latin for black substance) is a portion of the midbrain thought to be involved in certain aspects of movement and attention. ... Reticular formation is a part of the brain which is involved in stereotypical actions, such as walking, sleeping, and lying down. ...

External links

Rhombencephalon (hindbrain)

MYELENCEPHALON/MEDULLA: arcuate nucleus of medulla, solitary nucleus, hypoglossal nucleus, nucleus ambiguus, olivary body, cuneate nucleus, accessory cuneate nucleus, gracile nucleus, inferior salivatory nucleus, nucleus raphe obscurus, nucleus raphe magnus, nucleus raphe pallidus NeuroNames is a system of nomenclature for the brain and related structures. ... The University of California, Davis, commonly known as UC Davis, is one of the ten University of California campuses. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The myelencephalon is a developmental categorization of a portion of the central nervous system. ... Position of medulla oblangata in the human brain The medulla oblongata is the lower portion of the brainstem. ... Grays Fig. ... The solitary nucleus and tract are structures in the brainstem that carry and receive visceral sensation and taste from the facial (VII), glossopharyngeal (IX), vagus (X) cranial nerves, as well as the cranial part of the accessory nerve (XI). ... The hypoglossal nucleus extends the length of the medulla, and being a motor nucleus, is close to the midline. ... The nucleus ambiguus (literally ambiguous nucleus) is a region of histologically disperse cells located just dorsal (posterior) to the inferior olivary nucleus in the lateral portion of the upper (rostral) medulla. ... In anatomy, the olivary bodies or simply olives (Latin oliva) are a pair of prominent oval structures in the medulla oblongata, the lower portion of the brainstem. ... Cuneate nucleus is a wedge-shaped nucleus in the medulla. ... The accessory cuneate nucleus is located lateral to the cuneate nucleus in the medulla oblongata at the level of the sensory decussation (the crossing fibers of the posterior column/medial lemniscus tract). ... The swelling on the fasciculus gracilis is named the clava, and is produced by a subjacent nucleus of gray matter, the nucleus gracilis. ... The inferior salivatory nucleus is one of the components of the glossopharyngeal nerve, which stimulates secretion from the parotid gland. ... The nucleus raphe obscurus, despite the implications of its name, has some very specific functions and connections of afferent and efferent nature. ... The nucleus raphe magnus, located directly rostral to the raphe obscurus, is afferently stimulated from axons in the spinal cord and cerebellum. ... The nucleus raphe pallidus receives afferent connections from the periaqueductal gray, the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, central nucleus of the amygdala, lateral hypothalamic area, and parvocellular reticular nucleus. ...


METENCEPHALON/CEREBELLUM: cerebellar vermis, flocculus, arbor vitae The metencephalon is a developmental categorization of portions of the central nervous system. ... Figure 1a: A human brain, with the cerebellum in purple. ... Part of the structure of animal brains, the cerebellar vermis is a narrow, wormlike structure between the hemispheres of the cerebellum. ... The flocculus is a small lobe of the cerebellum at the posterior border of the middle cerebellar peduncle anterior to the biventer lobule; it is associated with the nodulus of the vermis; together, these two structures compose the vestibular part of the cerebellum. ... The arbor vitae (Latin for Tree of Life) is the cerebellar white matter, so called for its branched, tree-like appearance. ...


METENCEPHALON/PONS: pontine tegmentum, superior salivary nucleus, trapezoid body, pontine nuclei (superior olivary nucleus, trigeminal nerve nuclei, abducens nucleus, facial nucleus, cochlear nuclei, vestibular nuclei), locus ceruleus, paramedian pontine reticular formation, nucleus centralis superior The metencephalon is a developmental categorization of portions of the central nervous system. ... Position of the pons in the human brain The pons (sometimes pons Varolii after Costanzo Varolio) is a knob on the brain stem. ... The pontine tegmentum is a part of the pons of the brain involved in the initiation of REM sleep. ... The Superior salivary nucleus (or superior salivatory nucleus) of the facial nerve is a visceromotor cranial nerve nucleus located in the pontine tegmentum. ... The trapezoid body is part of the acoustic pathway. ... The pontine nuclei are a part of the pons which store the memory of intention during motor activity. ... // Anatomy The superior olivary nucleus (or superior olive) is a small mass of gray substance situated on the dorsal surface of the lateral part of the trapezoid body. ... The sensory trigeminal nerve nucleus is the largest of the cranial nerve nuclei, and extends through the whole of the brainstem, midbrain to medulla. ... The abducens nucleus is the originating nucleus from which the abducens nerve emerges - a cranial nerve nucleus. ... The cranial nerve motor nucleus of the facial nerve is located in the lower pons. ... The cochlear nuclei consist of: (a) the lateral cochlear nucleus, corresponding to the tuberculum acusticum on the dorso-lateral surface of the inferior peduncle; and (b) the ventral or accessory cochlear nucleus, placed between the two divisions of the nerve, on the ventral aspect of the inferior peduncle. ... The nuclei of the vestibular nerve. ... The paramedian pontine reticular formation, or PPRF, is a brain region, without clearly defined borders, in the center of the pons. ... The nucleus centralis superior is composed of polygonal, fusiform and pyriform neurons and exists rostral to the nucleus raphe pontis. ...


FOURTH VENTRICLE: obex, median aperture The fourth ventricle is one of the four connected fluid-filled cavities within the human brain. ... IrOBEX (or just OBEX) is a communications protocol that facilitates the exchange of binary objects between devices. ... The Median Aperture of the brain (apertura medialis ventriculi quarte) or Foramen of Magendie is an opening in the hollow nerve tube, connecting the 4th ventricle of the brain with the subarachnoid space The median aperture along with the paired lateral apertures (foramina of Luschka) are the primary routes for...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General - Chapter 4 (3783 words)
That route of signaling increases the rate of noradrenergic activity in the locus ceruleus, and the person becomes alert and attentive to the environment.
In the 1980s, the prevailing view was that excess discharge of the locus ceruleus with the acute stress response was a major contributor to the etiology of anxiety (Coplan and Lydiard, 1998).
The locus ceruleus still participates in anxiety but is understood to play a lesser role.
Locus ceruleus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (577 words)
The Locus ceruleus, also spelled locus caeruleus or locus coeruleus (Latin for 'the blue spot'), is a nucleus in the brain stem responsible for physiological responses to stress and panic.
The locus ceruleus (or "LC") resides on the dorsal wall of the upper pons, under the cerebellum in the caudal midbrain, surrounded by the fourth ventricle.
The locus ceruleus is widely studied in relation to clinical depression, panic disorder, and anxiety.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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