Definition: the massive gray matter, composed of individual nuclei, that fills the basilar pons. These nuclei are of fairly homogenous architecture and project primarily to the contralateral side of the cerebellum by way of the middle cerebellar peduncle; there is a modest ipsilateral pontocerebellar projection. Their main afferents come from the entire extent of the cerebral neocortex by way of the corticopontine fibers (longitudinal pontine bundles); thus, the pontine nuclei form a major way station in the impulse conduction from the cerebral cortex off one hemisphere to the posterior lobe off the opposite cerebellum. The pontine nuclei consist of: nucleus anterior [TA] (anterior nucleus [TA], ventral nucleus [TAalt]), nucleus lateralis [TA] (lateral nucleus [TA]), nucleus medianus [TA] (median nucleus [TA]), nucleus paramedianus [TA] (paramedian nucleus [TA]), nucleus peduncularis [TA] (peduncular nucleus [TA], peripeduncular nucleus [TAalt]), nucleus posterior lateralis [TA] (posterolateral nucleus [TA], dorsolateral nucleus [TAalt]), and nucleus posterior medialis [TA] (posteromedial nucleus [TA], dorsomedial nucleus [TAalt]). The nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis [TA] (reticulotegmental nucleus [TA]) is located at the interface of tegmental and basilar portions of the pons and is sometimes grouped with the pontine nuclei.
Synonym(s): nuclei pontisTA, pontine gray matter
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