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Brain: Reticulospinal tract
Medulla spinalis - tracts - English.svg
Reticulospinal tract is 2b, in red, near center.
Latin '
Gray's subject #
Part of
BrainInfo/UW hier-802
MeSH [1]

The reticulospinal tract (or anterior reticulospinal tract) is an extrapyramidal motor tract which travels from the reticular formation.


1. Integrates information from the motor systems to coordinate automatic movements of locomotion and posture.

2. Facilitates and inhibits voluntary movement, influences muscle tone.

3. Mediates autonomic functions

4. Modulates pain impulses


The tract is divided into two parts, the medial (or pontine) and lateral (or medullary) reticulospinal tracts (MRST and LRST).

  • The LRST is rostral to the Superior Colliculus and is responsible for the muscles of movement. The fibers of this tract arise from the medullary reticular formation, mostly from the gigantocellular nucleus, and descend the length of the spinal cord in the anterior part of the lateral column. The tract terminates in the gray spinal laminae (BrainInfo).

The sensory tract conveying information in the opposite direction is known as the "spinoreticular tract".

Clinical significance

If the superior colliculus is damaged, it is called decerebration and causes decerebate rigidity.

The reticulospinal tracts also provide a pathway by which the hypothalamus can control sympathetic thoracolumbar outflow and parasympathetic sacral outflow.

External links

Spinal cord

epidural space, dura mater, subdural space, arachnoid mater, subarachnoid space, pia mater, denticulate ligaments, conus medullaris, cauda equina, filum terminale, cervical enlargement, lumbar enlargement, anterior median fissure, dorsal root, dorsal root ganglion, dorsal ramus, ventral root, ventral ramus, sympathetic trunk, gray ramus communicans, white ramus communicans

grey matter: central canal, substantia gelatinosa of Rolando, reticular formation, substantia gelatinosa centralis, interneuron, anterior horn, lateral horn, posterior horn (column of Clarke, dorsal spinocerebellar tract)

white matter: anterior funiculus: descending (anterior corticospinal tract, vestibulospinal fasciculus, tectospinal tract), ascending (anterior spinothalamic tract, anterior proper fasciculus)

lateral funiculus: descending (lateral corticospinal tract, rubrospinal tract, olivospinal tract), ascending dorsal spinocerebellar tract, ventral spinocerebellar tract, spinothalamic tract, lateral spinothalamic tract, anterior spinothalamic tract, spinotectal tract, posterolateral tract, lateral proper fasciculus, medial longitudinal fasciculus

posterior funiculus: fasciculus gracilis, fasciculus cuneatus, posterior proper fasciculus


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