The autonomic nervous system is arranged so that each division has two motor neurons.
The first of these motor neurons is going to be the preganglionic neuron.
This is going to exit from the central nervous system.
The cell bodies of the preganglionic neuron are going to be located in the brain and the spinal cord.
The second part or the second motor neuron is the postganglionic neuron.
The cell bodies of these neurons as well as the dendrites
are going to be located in structures known as autonomic ganglion.
These are where the synapses between the preganglionic and the postganglionic neurons are going to occur.
Recall that a ganglion is a cluster of cell bodies in the peripheral nervous system.
Now, let's take a closer look at the different neurons of each division starting with the sympathetic division.
In the sympathetic division, the preganglionic neurons are going to have cell bodies
located in the lateral horn of the gray matter of the spinal cord in all 12 thoracic sections
as well as the 2nd and 3rd lumbar section.
After the preganglionic neurons, we have our autonomic ganglia.
Again, this is where the cell bodies and dendrites of the postganglionic neurons are found
and where the two -- the preganglionic and the postganglionic neuron will synapse.
There are two major types of sympathetic ganglia.
The first of these is the sympathetic trunk ganglia.
These paired sympathetic trunk ganglia are located anterior and lateral to the vertebral column.
There are usually three cervical, 11 or 12 thoracic, 4 or 5 lumbar,
4 or 5 sacral sympathetic ganglia, as well as 1 coccygeal ganglion.
The second type of sympathetic ganglia is the prevertebral ganglia.
These are going to be located anterior to the vertebral column and near the abdominal arteries in the abdomen.
Examples of these are going to be the celiac ganglion as well as the superior and inferior mesenteric ganglion.