Gigantocellular reticular nucleus

The gigantocellular nucleus is a subregion of the medullary reticular formation.[1] As the name indicates, is mainly composed of the so-called giant neuronal cells.

Gigantocellular reticular nucleus
Latinnucleus reticularis gigantocellularis
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Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

This nucleus has been known to innervate the caudal hypoglossal nucleus, and responds to glutamatergic stimuli. The gigantocellular nucleus excites the hypoglossal nucleus, and can play a role in the actions of the said nerve.[2] It additionally receives connections from the periaqueductal gray, the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, central nucleus of the amygdala, lateral hypothalamic area, and parvocellular reticular nucleus.

Retrograde studies have shown that the deep mesencephalic reticular formation and oral pontine reticular nucleus project to the gigantocellular nucleus.

The dorsal rostral section of the nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis is also involved in mediating expiration (or out-breathing) along with the parvocellular nucleus.


  1. Ohtake, Toshiyuki (July 1992). "Ascending projections from the gigantocellular reticular and dorsal paragigantocellular nuclei of the medulla oblongata in the rat: an anterograde PHA-L tracing study". Neuroscience Research. 14 (2): 96–116. doi:10.1016/0168-0102(92)90086-R.
  2. Yang, CC et al. Excitatory innervation of caudal hypoglossal nucleus from nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis in the rat. Neuroscience. 1995 Mar;65(2):365-74.

It also receives inputs from the pedunculopontine nucleus.

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