Parasympathetic nervous system

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The Parasympathetic Nervous System is a subdivision of the Autonomic Nervous System. This system is termed the "rest and digest" as it co-ordinates 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 secretion and production while the PNS will increase this[1].

This is all mediated by varying different neurotransmitters. The primary transmitters used in the Parasympathetic nervous system is Acetylcholine. This is for both pre and post ganglionic cells. This is also the same for the receptor which would be cholinergic receptors. These can be subdivided 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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