The pontine tegmentum is located within the brainstem, and is one of two parts of the pons, the other being the ventral pons. The pontine tegmentum can be defined in contrast to the basilar pons: basilar pons contains the corticospinal tract running craniocaudally and can be considered the rostral extension of the ventral medulla oblongata; however, basilar pons is distinguished from ventral medulla oblongata in that it contains additional transverse pontine fibres that continue laterally to become the middle cerebellar peduncle. The pontine tegmentum is all the material dorsal from the basilar pons to the fourth ventricle. Along with the dorsal surface of the medulla, it forms part of the rhomboid fossa - the floor of the fourth ventricle
The pontine tegmentum contains nuclei of the cranial nerves, abducens, facial, and vestibulocochlear and their associated fibre tracts, the pontine reticular formation, the mesopontine cholinergic system comprising the pedunculopontine nucleus and the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, and the respiritory centres - the pneumotaxic centre and the apneustic centre. Nearby important structures include the cranial nerve nuclei of the oculomotor and trochlear nerve nuclei, which are located in the midbrain, the pontine nuclei, which are located within the basilar pons, and the raphe nucleus and the locus ceruleus, nuclei of cranial nerves 9-12, and the dorsal respiratory group, which are located further caudally in the brainstem. The dorsal respiratory group are connected to the pneumotaxic and apneustic centres of the pontine tegmentum.