Neuroscience Bulletin

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 145–155 | Cite as

Cell-Type Identification in the Autonomic Nervous System

  • Di-Shi Liu
  • Tian-Le XuEmail author


The autonomic nervous system controls various internal organs and executes crucial functions through sophisticated neural connectivity and circuits. Its dysfunction causes an imbalance of homeostasis and numerous human disorders. In the past decades, great efforts have been made to study the structure and functions of this system, but so far, our understanding of the classification of autonomic neuronal subpopulations remains limited and a precise map of their connectivity has not been achieved. One of the major challenges that hinder rapid progress in these areas is the complexity and heterogeneity of autonomic neurons. To facilitate the identification of neuronal subgroups in the autonomic nervous system, here we review the well-established and cutting-edge technologies that are frequently used in peripheral neuronal tracing and profiling, and discuss their operating mechanisms, advantages, and targeted applications.


Autonomic nervous system Neuronal tracing Genetic marker Molecular profiling Cell-type diversity 



We thank Dr. Michael Xi Zhu for critical reading of the manuscript. This review was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91632304 and 31500671).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors claim that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and PhysiologyShanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina

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