Red nucleus

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The red nucleus is one of the brainstem nuclei and part of the extrapyramidal system. The red nuclei are situated within the tegmentum of the midbrain (the part between the cerebral peduncles and the quadrigeminal plate). It consists of a larger neorubrum and smaller paleorubrum.


It receives afferent fibers from several locations within the diencephalon:

It sends its axons to the olive (rubro-olivary and reticulo-olivary fibers) and spinal cord (rubrospinal tract).  Its action includes the coordination of muscle tone, body position and gait.


A lesion of the red nucleus causes resting tremor, abnormal muscle tone and choreoathetosis.

Anatomy: Brain

Anatomy: Brain

Article information

rID: 5814
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Red nuclei

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: brainstem nuclei and their connections
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  • Figure 2: midbrain (axial)
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