Nucleus Tractus Solitarius (NTS)

The NTS is a longitudinal structure in the medulla best known for carrying afferent taste (special visceral afferent) information, but it is also a major processing station for ascending visceral information from throughout the body, and it plays an important role in neuro-immune loops and autonomic reflexes. Major functions include taste and cardiac control.

Image and Location

Neurosynth: No images available (too few mentions in publications.)


komisaruk_2002 topolovec_2004

Haines atlas: Lower medulla


Searches so far:

(solitarius OR solitary nucleus) AND review (solitarius OR solitary nucleus) AND connectivity (solitarius OR solitary nucleus) AND fMRI

Most important references

(classic papers, best papers) APA 5th format from Endnote, e.g.,

Fields, H. L. (2000). Pain modulation: expectation, opioid analgesia and virtual pain.Progress in brain research, 122, 245-253.



Major afferent vagal nucleus in the dorsal vagal complex, along with the area postrema (AP) and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMN-X) (Leslie 1986)

Peripheral inputs include: * Cranial nerves VII, IX and X (taste and visceral inputs) * Chemoreceptors and Baroreceptors in aorta/carotid arteries * Lung stretch receptors * Autonomic afferents from the GI tract and mucus membranes * Chemically and mechanically sensitive neurons with endings located in the heart, lungs, airways, gastrointestinal system, and liver (via IX and X)

Cortical/subcortical inputs include: * Medial prefrontal cortex (mainly infra limbic); (Neafsey 1986)


* paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus * central nucleus of the amygdala * parabrachial area and other visceral motor or respiratory networks–GI and gustatory

Also projects to other brainstem nuclei to implement vagal reflexes and other functions (Ross et al., 1985), including: * topographic projection to rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) * caudal ventrolateral medulla (baroreceptor reflex) * retrofacial nucleus * nucleus ambiguus


Summary list

Autonomic reflexes: gag reflex, carotid sinus reflex, aortic reflex, cough reflex, the baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflexes, several respiratory reflexes and regulation of GI motility and secretion.

Cardiovascular function: substance P, angiotensin II (Leslie 1986) GI regulation: dopamine, endorphins, CCK (Leslie 1986)


Studies activating


Coordinates (x, y, z): [0, 0, 0] , [0, 0, 0] No coordinates from published studies. Coordinates derived from anatomical landmarks and functional localization in published studies.

Specific study coordinates (if not too many)

Study Description x y z
Topolovec 2004 Contrast Descrip ~ ~ ~
Komisaruk 2002 Contrast Descrip ~ ~ ~

List of Studies

Specific, key studies

Study list: Coordinate based

Neurosynth results for coordinate(s)

<list studies here from Neurosynth database>

Last modified: 2017/09/27 22:54