According to the following, it implies that preganglionic neurons are interneurons.

Interneuron called preganglionic neuron whose cell body is situated in the "intermediolateral" column of spinal cord( also called 'lateral column').1

From this:

The interneuron (connector neuron) of somatic system has cell body in the dorsal horn and terminates in the ventral horn, while that of ANS has cell body in the intermediolateral horn and terminates in the autonomic ganglia....In the ANS, there are two efferent neuron chains between CNS and the effector organ: first efferent neuron (pre-ganglionic neuron) has its cell body in CNS while the second efferent neuron (post-ganglionic neuron) has its cell body out-side the CNS in the ganglion.

But this source implies quite opposite:

The spinal sympathetic interneurons that most directly influence the activity of sympathetic preganglionic neurons after spinal cord injury....

So which one is correct?

  • $\begingroup$ Please read Dot 2,3,4 on right column of that page, then it implies same as of first link. $\endgroup$
    – JM97
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


It sort of depends on your definition of interneuron. Many school-level textbooks suggest that any neuron that has neurons both pre and post synaptically are interneurons. Therefore both the preganglionic neuron and the spinal sympathetic interneurons could be considered interneurons. This means that all neurons in the brain are interneurons and vastly oversimplifies the CNS.

I would argue that it's probably more helpful to think of the preganglionic neurons as "projecting" neurons, as they come down the spinal cord. The post-ganglionic neuron is more like a motor neuron.

Edit: I answered a similar question in more detail here: Is the bipolar neuron of the retina considered a sensory neuron?

  • $\begingroup$ So, what's the extra neuron in link 3? $\endgroup$
    – JM97
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Most likely a small, localised interneuron, residing solely within a confined region of the spinal cord. Edit, it will receive input from nearby neurons and send output to other nearby neurons. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:55

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