The sympathetic division of the ANS originates from thoracolumbar segments of the spinal cord (approximately T-1 to L-4, bilaterally).
For all regions of the body, the initial pathway for sympathetic preganglionic axons is identical:
Only rami communicantes T-1 to L-4 contain myelinated preganglionic axons. All rami communicantes contain non-myelinated postganglionic axons.
Axons from sympathetic preganglionic neurons synapse in autonomic ganglia, shown in yellow to the left.
(Click a button (left) or the navigation bar (top)
to view the pathway to a particular region.)
The cell bodies of sympathetic preganglionic neurons are located in intermediolateral nuclei of the spinal cord. (A nucleus is a profile of a neuron column.) Each intermediolateral column forms a lateral gray horn in a thoracolumbar spinal cord transection.