Carvell, PhD, PTUniversity
SPINAL CORD: GRAY AND WHITE MATTER
Spinal Cord has gray matter where neurons live and work (communicating and integrating information sent to, and
received from the Brain,the
Periphery, and other Spinal Cord
segments). This circuitry incorporates Relay (Projection) Neurons,
(spinospinal connections) and local interneurons (excitatory and inhibitory)
innervate muscle. White matter surrounds the spinal gray to provide highways for Action Potential
signals among segments of the Spinal Cord, for signals that ascend from the Spinal Cord to the
Brain (Ascending Tracts/ Pathways), and for descending signals from the Brain to the Spinal
Cord (Descending Tracts/ Pathways).
MZ = Marginal Zone
NP = Nucleus
Spinal Gray:Dorsal horn neurons are typically associated with sensory function
and ventral horn
with motor. While this distinction is generally true normal function may draw
no such distinct
structuralboundaries. The Spinal White surrounds the gray.
is divided into three funiculi: dorsal,
lateral and ventral (anterior).
Axons in the white matter
provide continuity between
spinal segments (Propriospinal
Tract) and between
the brain and spinal cord
levels of the CNS (ascending
and descending tracts).
In addition, peripheral (sensory)
afferents enter the spinal
white at the dorsal root entry