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E. Carvell, PhD, PT
University of Pittsburgh
SPINAL CORD: DORSAL HORN LAMINAE
MZ = Marginal Zone
NP = Nucleus
Dorsal Root Entry
Ventral Root Exit
The Dorsal Horn processes and relays somatosensory
information that provides us with knowledge of our environment and objects that we contact
within our world. This information includes details about the surface features,
shape, firmness, temperature, and other qualities of objects we encounter. Pain and other
high-threshold inputs synapse on some dorsal horn neurons. Neurons located at the base of the
dorsal horn receive inputs from deep proprioceptors (muscle & joint receptors) that
provide information about limb position, motion, muscle tension and other kinesthetic cues.
Like other areas in the nervous system, a network of interneurons and projection
neurons integrates and 'filters' this information before passing it along to other networks in
the spinal cord or brain.
Spinothalamic Tract (SPTH) Neurons live in the Marginal Zone
& Nucleus Proprius and send their axons into the crossed Anterolateral Ascending Pathway.
Some neurons in the Nucleus Proprius receive input from low threshold
These LTM (Low Threshold Mechanoreceptive) Neurons project their axons into the ipsilateral Dorsal Column. Neurons in the Substantia Gelatinosa are local interneurons that modulate the peripheral afferent input and the discharge properties of the Dorsal Horn Projection Neurons.