Parasympathetic nervous system

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The Parasympathetic Nervous System is a subdivsion of the Autonomic Nervous System. This system is termed the "rest and digest" as it co-oridnate the functions of organs involved in these processes autonomically. The PNS works in tandem with the Sympathetic nervous system and normally the PNS will produce the opposite affect on an organ to what the SNS will. For example, the SNS will cause a reduction in salivary secreteion and production while the PNS will increase this.[1]

This is all mediated by varying different neurotansmitters. The primary transmitters used in the Parasympathic nervous system is Acetylcholine. This is for both pre and post ganglionic cells. This is also the same for the the receptor which would be cholinergic receptors. These can be subdived into two groups; Nicotinic and Muscarinic.


  1. Rhoades, R Pflanzer, R (2003). Human Physiology. 4th ed. London: Thomas Brook/Cole. P340-341.
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