Rubrospinal tract

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Rubrospinal tract
File:Medulla spinalis - tracts - English.svg
Rubrospinal tract is 2a, in red at left.
Schematic representation of the chief ganglionic categories (Rubrospinal tract not labeled, but red nucleus visible near center)
Latin tractus rubrospinalis
Gray's subject #192 870
Dorlands/Elsevier t_15/12817153


The rubrospinal tract is a part of the nervous system. It is a part of the indirect extra-pyramidal tract


It is an alternative route for the mediation of voluntary movement. It is responsible for large muscle movement such as the arms and the legs as well as for fine motor control. It facilitates the extension and inhibits the flexion in the upper extremities.

It is small and rudimentary in humans. In some other primates, however, experiments have shown that over time, the rubrospinal tract can assume almost all the duties of the corticospinal tract when the corticospinal tract is lesioned.


In the midbrain, it originates in the red nucleus, crosses to the other side of the midbrain, and descends in the lateral part of the brainstem tegmentum.

In the spinal cord, it travels through the lateral funiculus of the spinal cord in the company with the lateral corticospinal tract.

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