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  1. Autonomic nervous system (visceral or involuntary system) is widely distributed through out the body.
  2. They innervate heart, smooth muscles, viscera and glands.
  3. It consists of 2 divisions – sympathetic and Parasympathetic
  4. Parasympathetic is mainly concerned with the vegetative functions. This is essential for the existence of the organism.

Eg.: Motility and secretions of GIT.

Sympathetic is concerned with preparing the organism for fight or flight. It is not essential for normal existence.

  1. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic essentially consist of
  2. i) A preganglionic nerve ii)         A ganglion

iii) A post ganglionic nerve                            iv)        An effector organ

Nerve NeurotrAnsmitter
Preganglionic parasympathetic

Preganglionic sympathetic

Post ganglionic  parasympathetic Acetylcholine
Post ganglionic sympathetic Nor adrenaline


  1. The two types of receptors are cholinergic and adrenergic receptors.


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