The autonomic nervous system helps to regulate the activities of cardiac muscle,smooth muscles, and glands. In this regulation, impulses are conducted from the CNS by an axon that synapses with a second autonomic neuron. It is the axon of this second neuron in the pathway that innervates the involuntary effectors.
Autonomic motor nerves innervate organs whose functions are not usually under voluntary control. The effectors that respond to autonomic regulation include cardiac muscle (the heart), smooth muscles, and glands. These effectors are part of the visceral organs (organs within the body cavities) and of blood vessels. The involuntary effects of autonomic innervation contrast with the voluntary control of skeletal muscles by way of somatic motor neurons.
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