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    Anatomy of a neuron

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    black ice
    عضو فعال
    عضو فعال

    ذكر عدد الرسائل : 74
    العمر : 30
    تاريخ التسجيل : 09/07/2008

    Anatomy of a neuron

    مُساهمة من طرف black ice في الخميس نوفمبر 13, 2008 9:42 pm

    Several types of cells support an action potential, such as plant cells, muscle cells, and the specialized cells of the heart (in which occurs the cardiac action potential).However, the main excitable cell is the neuron, which also has the simplest mechanism for the action potential

    Neurons are electrically excitable cells generally comprised of one or more dendrites, a single soma, a single axon and one or more axon terminals. The dendrite is one of the two types of synapses, the other being the axon terminal buttons. Dendrites form protrusions in response to the axon terminal boutons. These protrusions, or spines, are designed to capture the neurotransmitters released by the presynaptic neuron. They have a high concentration of ligand activated channels. It is, therefore, here where synapses from two neurons communicate with one another. These spines have a thin neck connecting a bulbous protrusion to the main dendrite. This ensures that changes occurring inside the spine are less likely to affect the neighbouring spines. The dendritic spine can, therefore, with rare exception, act as an independent unit. The dendrites then connect onto the soma. The soma houses the nucleus, which acts as the regulator for the neuron. Unlike the spines, the surface of the soma is populated by voltage activated ion channels. These channels help transmit the signals generated by the dendrites. Emerging out from the soma is the axon hillock. This region is characterized by having an incredibly high concentration of voltage activated sodium channels. It is generally considered to be the spike initiation zone for action potentials. Multiple signals generated at the spines, and transmitted by the soma all converge here. Immediately after the axon hillock is the axon. This is a thin tubular protrusion traveling away from the soma. The axon is insulated by a myelin sheath. Myelin is composed of Schwann cells that wrap themselves multiple times around the axonal segment. This forms a thick fatty layer that prevents ions from entering or escaping the axon. This insulation both prevents significant signal decay as well as ensuring faster signal speed. This insulation, however, has the restriction that no channels can be present on the surface of the axon. There are, therefore, regularly spaced patches of membrane which have no insulation. These nodes of ranvier can be considered to be 'mini axon hillocks' as their purpose is to boost the signal in order to prevent significant signal decay. At the furthest end, the axon loses its insulation and begins to branch into several axon terminals. These axon terminals then end in the form the second class of synapses, axon terminal buttons. These buttons have voltage activated calcium channels which come into play when signaling other neurons



    references

    Bullock, Orkand, and Grinnell

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الأربعاء سبتمبر 26, 2018 5:17 am