AskDefine | Define pons

Dictionary Definition

pons n : a band of nerve fibers linking the medulla oblongata and the cerebellum with the midbrain [syn: pons Varolii] [also: pontes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A bridge-like tissue connecting two parts of an organ
  2. A band of nerve fibres, the pons Varolii, within the brain stem


Part of brain



Kindred with the Sanskrit pathi ("a path"); the Greek πάτος; the old German phat, pfat; modified German Pfad; Anglo-Saxon padh.


pons, pontis

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

The pons (sometimes pons Varolii after Costanzo Varolio) is a structure located on the brain stem. It is rostral to the medulla oblongata, caudal to the midbrain, and ventral to the cerebellum. In humans and other bipeds this means it is above the medulla, below the midbrain, and anterior to the cerebellum.


The pons relays sensory information between the cerebellum and cerebrum; aids in relaying other messages in the brain; controls arousal, and regulates respiration (see respiratory centres). In some theories, the pons has a role in dreaming.

Anatomy of the pons

The "knob-like" process (Basal pons) is 2 centimeters long and located on the anterior (front) of the brainstem. It is formed of nerves that travel from one side (left or right) to the other. Most other fibres in the brainstem travel up and down.
The posterior (back) surface of the pons forms part of the wall of the fourth ventricle of the brain.
Most blood to the pons is supplied by pontine arteries. These are small arteries that branch off the basilar artery (of the Circle of Willis). Blood also comes from the anterior inferior, and superior cerebellar arteries.
There are two main domains in the pons for control of respiration:

Cranial nerve nuclei

A number of cranial nerve nuclei are present in the pons:

Related diseases

Additional images

hypophysis cerebri in position. Shown in sagittal section. Image:Illu pituitary pineal glands.jpg|Pituitary and pineal glands Image:Brainstem Abducens.png|Axial section of the Brainstem (Pons) at the level of the Facial Colliculus Image:Human cerebrum lateral view, a part of temporal lobe resected description.JPG|Human cerebrum lateral view Image:Human brain frontal (coronal) section description.JPG|Human brain frontal (coronal) section Image:Human brainstem anterior view 2 description.JPG|Human brainstem anterior view


External links

pons in Czech: Varolův most
pons in Danish: Pons
pons in German: Pons
pons in Spanish: Puente troncoencefálico
pons in French: Pont de Varole
pons in Italian: Ponte di Varolio
pons in Lithuanian: Tiltas (smegenys)
pons in Dutch: Pons (hersenen)
pons in Japanese: 橋 (脳)
pons in Polish: Most (mózg)
pons in Portuguese: Ponte (sistema nervoso)
pons in Russian: Варолиев мост
pons in Slovak: Varolov most
pons in Serbian: Варолијев мост
pons in Finnish: Aivosilta
pons in Turkish: Pons
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