Myelinated and unmyelinated axons in the inferior cardiac nerve of the cat were examined to determine how many axons were (1) sensory, (2) preganglionic sympathetic, and (3) postganglionic sympathetic. In one group of cats, a segment was removed from the middle of the inferior cardiac nerve as a control, and the proximal and distal stumps of the nerve were examined one week later. In another group of cats, the control segment of nerve was removed and the first thoracic white ramus communicans and sympathetic trunk were cut proximal to the stellate ganglion, followed in one week by examination of the proximal and distal stumps of the inferior cardiac nerve. In still another group of cats, the first five thoracic spinal nerves were cut just distal to the dorsal root ganglion. The counts of myelinated and unmyelinated axons after these surgical procedures indicated that, in the cat inferior cardiac nerve, all or almost all of the approximately 30,000 unmyelinated axons and 10% of the myelinated axons are postganglionic sympathetic fibers, and that approximately 90% of the myelinated axons are sensory.
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