Volume 35, Issue. 1, February, 2019

Cell-Type Identification in the Autonomic Nervous System

Di-Shi Liu • Tian-Le Xu*

Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China


The autonomic nervous system controls various internal organs and executes crucial functions through sophisticated neural connectivity and circuits. Its dysfunction causes an imbalance of homeostasis and numerous human disorders. In the past decades, great efforts have been made to study the structure and functions of this system, but so far, our understanding of the classification of autonomic neuronal subpopulations remains limited and a precise map of their connectivity has not been achieved. One of the major challenges that hinder rapid progress in these areas is the complexity and heterogeneity of autonomic neurons. To facilitate the identification of neuronal subgroups in the autonomic nervous system, here we review the well-established and cutting-edge technologies that are frequently used in peripheral neuronal tracing and profiling, and discuss their operating mechanisms, advantages, and targeted applications.



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