Multi-tasking in the spinal cord – do ‘sympathetic’ interneurones work harder than we give them credit for?


Corresponding author S. A. Deuchars: Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT, UK. Email:


The role of interneurones in the control of sympathetic activity has been somewhat of a mystery since, for many years, it was difficult to target these cells for study. Recently scientists have started to unravel the action potential properties of these neurones, where they receive their inputs from and where they project to. This review looks at the information known to date about sympathetic interneurones. The locations of these neurones and their local axonal ramifications suggest that they play a more widespread function than previously thought. Therefore the data to support such a theory are also examined.