Thoracic spinal nerve 12

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Thoracic spinal nerve
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The spinal cord with spinal nerves.
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The plan of the lumbosacral plexus
Latin Nervi spinalis
FMA 6167
Anatomical terminology

The thoracic spinal nerve 12 (T12) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment. [1]

It originates from the spinal column from below the thoracic vertebra 12 (T12).

It may also be known as the subcostal nerve.

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Peripheral nervous system Part of the nervous system excluding the brain and spinal cord

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is one of two components that make up the nervous system of bilateral animals, with the other part being the central nervous system (CNS). The PNS consists of the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord. The main function of the PNS is to connect the CNS to the limbs and organs, essentially serving as a relay between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body. Unlike the CNS, the PNS is not protected by the vertebral column and skull, or by the blood–brain barrier, which leaves it exposed to toxins and mechanical injuries.

Spinal nerve Nerve that carries signals between the spinal cord and the body

A spinal nerve is a mixed nerve, which carries motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and the body. In the human body there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, one on each side of the vertebral column. These are grouped into the corresponding cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal regions of the spine. There are eight pairs of cervical nerves, twelve pairs of thoracic nerves, five pairs of lumbar nerves, five pairs of sacral nerves, and one pair of coccygeal nerves. The spinal nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system.

Cervical vertebrae Vertebrae of the neck

In tetrapods, cervical vertebrae are the vertebrae of the neck, immediately below the skull. Truncal vertebrae lie caudal of cervical vertebrae. In sauropsid species, the cervical vertebrae bear cervical ribs. In lizards and saurischian dinosaurs, the cervical ribs are large; in birds, they are small and completely fused to the vertebrae. The vertebral transverse processes of mammals are homologous to the cervical ribs of other amniotes. Most mammals have seven cervical vertebrae, with the only three known exceptions being the manatee with six, the two-toed sloth with five or six, and the three-toed sloth with nine.

Thoracic vertebrae

In vertebrates, thoracic vertebrae compose the middle segment of the vertebral column, between the cervical vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae. In humans, there are twelve thoracic vertebrae and they are intermediate in size between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae; they increase in size going towards the lumbar vertebrae, with the lower ones being much larger than the upper. They are distinguished by the presence of facets on the sides of the bodies for articulation with the heads of the ribs, as well as facets on the transverse processes of all, except the eleventh and twelfth, for articulation with the tubercles of the ribs. By convention, the human thoracic vertebrae are numbered T1–T12, with the first one (T1) located closest to the skull and the others going down the spine toward the lumbar region.


The intertransversarii are small muscles placed between the transverse processes of the vertebrae.

Intercostal nerves

The intercostal nerves are part of the somatic nervous system, and arise from the anterior rami of the thoracic spinal nerves from T1 to T11. The intercostal nerves are distributed chiefly to the thoracic pleura and abdominal peritoneum, and differ from the anterior rami of the other spinal nerves in that each pursues an independent course without plexus formation.

White ramus communicans

The white ramus communicans from Latin ramus (branch) and communicans (communicating) is the preganglionic sympathetic outflow nerve tract from the spinal cord.

Each spinal nerve receives a branch called a gray ramus communicans from the adjacent paravertebral ganglion of the sympathetic trunk. The gray rami communicantes contain postganglionic nerve fibers of the sympathetic nervous system and are composed of largely unmyelinated neurons. This is in contrast to the white rami communicantes, in which heavily myelinated neurons give the rami their white appearance.

Sympathetic ganglia Ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system

The sympathetic ganglia, or paravertebral ganglia are autonomic ganglia, of the sympathetic nervous system. Ganglia are 20,000 to 30,000 afferent and efferent nerve cell bodies that run along on either side of the spinal cord. Afferent nerve cell bodies bring information from the body to the brain and spinal cord, while efferent nerve cell bodies bring information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. The cell bodies create long sympathetic chains that are on either side of the spinal cord. They also form para- or pre-vertebral ganglia of gross anatomy.

Lateral grey column

The lateral grey column is one of the three grey columns of the spinal cord ; the others being the anterior and posterior grey columns. The lateral grey column is primarily involved with activity in the sympathetic division of the autonomic motor system. It projects to the side as a triangular field in the thoracic and upper lumbar regions of the postero-lateral part of the anterior grey column.

Posterior thoracic nucleus

The posterior thoracic nucleus, is a group of interneurons found in the medial part of lamina VII, also known as the intermediate zone, of the spinal cord. It is mainly located from the cervical vertebra C7 to lumbar L3–L4 levels and is an important structure for proprioception of the lower limb.

Ventral ramus of spinal nerve

The ventral ramus is the anterior division of a spinal nerve. The ventral rami supply the antero-lateral parts of the trunk and the limbs. They are mainly larger than the dorsal rami.

Facet joint

The facet joints are a set of synovial, plane joints between the articular processes of two adjacent vertebrae. There are two facet joints in each spinal motion segment and each facet joint is innervated by the recurrent meningeal nerves.

Thoracic spinal nerve 1

The thoracic spinal nerve 1 (T1) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment.

Thoracic spinal nerve 2 Spinal nerve of the top of the thorax

The thoracic spinal nerve 2 (T2) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment.

Thoracic spinal nerve 3

The thoracic spinal nerve 3 (T3) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment.

Thoracic spinal nerve 5

The thoracic spinal nerve 5 (T5) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment.

Thoracic spinal nerve 7

The thoracic spinal nerve 7 (T7) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment.

Thoracic spinal nerve 10

The thoracic spinal nerve 10 (T10) is a spinal nerve of the thoracic segment.

Vertebra Bone in the vertebral column

The spinal column, characteristic of each vertebrate species, is a moderately flexible series of vertebrae, each constituting a characteristic irregular bone whose complex structure is composed primarily of bone, and secondarily of hyaline cartilage. They show variation in the proportion contributed by these two tissue types; such variations correlate on one hand with the cerebral/caudal rank, and on the other with phylogenetic differences among the vertebrate taxa.


  1. "AMA (Atlas) Nervous System -- groups of nerves". Atlas. American Medical Association. Archived from the original on 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2011-04-27.