Area postrema

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Brain: Area postrema
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Rhomboid fossa. (Area postrema labeled at bottom center.)
Gray's subject #187 800
Acronym(s) AP
NeuroNames hier-769
MeSH Area+postrema

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Overview

The area postrema is a part of the brain that controls vomiting. It was discovered in 1953 by Utah Pharmacologists Herbert L. Borison and S. C. Wang [1].

Location

It is located in the lateral reticular formation of the medulla oblongata. More specifically, it is located between the funiculus separans (a narrow translucent ridge cossing the ala cinerea) and the clava, as a small tongue-shaped area.

Function

The Area postrema, one of the circumventricular organs, detects toxins in the blood and acts as a vomit inducing center. It connects to the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract and other autonomic control centres in the brainstem. It is thus excited by visceral afferent impulses (sympathetic and vagal) arising from the gastrointestinal tract and other peripheral trigger areas.

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