Caudal pontine reticular nucleus

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Brain: Caudal pontine reticular nucleus
Latin nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis
NeuroNames hier-561
Dorlands/Elsevier n_11/12583092

The caudal pontine reticular nucleus is composed of gigantocellular neurons.

In rabbits and cats it is exclusively giant cells, however in humans there are normally sized cells as well.

The pontis caudalis is rostral to the gigantocellular nucleus and is located in the caudal pons, as the name would indicate.

The pontis caudalis has been known to mediate head movement, in concert with the nucleus gigantocellularis and the superior colliculus[1].

The neurons in the dorsal half of this nuclei fire rhythmically during mastication, and in an anesthetized animal it is possible to induce mastication via electrical stimulation of the PC or adjacent areas of the gigantocellular nucleus[2].

The pontis caudalis is also thought to play a hand in the grinding of teeth during sleep.


  1. Sasaki S, The neural control of orienting: role of multiple-branching reticulospinal neurons. Prog Brain Res. 2004;143:383-9.
  2. Scott G, Effect of lidocaine and NMDA injections into the medial pontobulbar reticular formation on mastication evoked by cortical stimulation in anaesthetized rabbits. Eur J Neurosci. 2003 May;17(10):2156-62.