2- Cells Of The Nervous System Flashcards Preview

Neuroscience > 2- Cells Of The Nervous System > Flashcards

Flashcards in 2- Cells Of The Nervous System Deck (17):

What are some structural features of neurones

Large nucleus
• Prominent nucleolus
• Abundant rER
• Well developed Golgi (because of need to transport proteins over long
• Abundant mitochondria
• Highly organised cytoskeleton


Describe dendrites

Spread from the cell body and branch frequently
• Increase the surface area of the neuron that can receive signals
• Thin dendrites have protrusions called Dendritic Spines - these receive the
majority of synapses
• Dendritic spines can have multiple synapses
• Large pyramidal neurones may have 30,000/40,000
• You get primary dendrites coming off the vertices
of the pyramid
• There are secondary dendrites branching off the
• Tertiary dendrites branch off the secondary
• There are a large number of Purkinje Cells in the
• Dendrites have over 80,000 spines per cell


Describe axons

Emerge at the AXON HILLOCK
• Usually only ONE per cell
• May branch after leaving the cell body and at the
target - these form axon collaterals
• Prominent microtubules and neurofilaments
• After leaving the axon hillock it maintains the
same diameter the whole way down (thereby
maintaining the same speed)
• Contains abundant intermediate filaments and
• The intermediate filaments are needed for tensile strength as the cells can be very long
• Axons can be myelinated or unmyelinated
• The axonal membrane of a myelinated fibre is only exposed at the Nodes of Ranvier


What is the paranode and juxtaparanode

PARANODE - the area where the ends of the myelin is bound to the axon to form tight junctions - this prevents leakage of current under the myelin sheath
• JUXTAPARANODE - an area adjacent to the paranode where you find potassium channels and calcium channels


What are the 2 types of axon terminal

Boutons and vericosites


What are the three types of synaptic organisation

Axo-dendritic = often excitatory
• Axo-somatic = often inhibitory
• Axo-axonic = often modulatory


What components make up the neuronal cytoskeleton

Neurofilaments play a critical role in determining axon caliber
• Microtubules are very abundant in the nervous system


Describe fast axon transport

Transport of membrane associated materials
• Vesicles with associated motors are moved
down the axon at 100-400mm per day
• Proteins are packaged into a vesicle and then
the vesicle is targeted down towards the
presynaptic membrane
• The microtubules are polarised (positive and
negative) so the vesicles can only move in one


What is retrograde transport

Retrograde Transport - moving vesicles
containing various molecules back to the cell


Describe neuronal damage in multiple sclerosis

If there is a restriction to the axon (e.g. traumatic injury or inflammatory disease) you begin to see SWELLINGS
SWELLINGS - vesicles of neurotransmitter keep being transported down the axon and they accumulate because they have no where to go


Describe neuronal subtypes

• Pseudounipolar
Tend to be sensory neurons
They have two fused processes which are axonal in structure
The signal received passes directly to the axon terminal without going
through the soma
• Bipolar
Involved in the white matter of the cerebral cortex
• Golgi Type I Multipolar
Highly branched dendritic trees Axons extend long distances Pyramidal Cells of the cerebral cortex Purkinje Cells of the cerebellum Anterior Horn Cells of the spinal cord Retinal Ganglion Cells
• Golgi Type II Multipolar
Highly branched dendritic trees
Short axons
Axons terminate quite close to the cell body of origin Stellate Cells of the cerebral cortex and cerebellum


What are the types of neuroglia

Astroglia Oligodendroglia Microglia
Immature progenitors Ependymal cells Schwann cells Satellite glia


Describe astroglia

• Multi-processed - star shape
• There are numerous intermediate filament bundles in the cytoplasm of fibrous
• GAP JUNCTIONS - suggest astroglia-astroglia signalling


Name astroglia functions

Functions of Astroglia:
Scaffold for neuronal migration and axon growth during development Formation of blood-brain barrier
Transport of substances from blood to neurons
Segregation of neuronal processes (synapses)
Removal of neurotransmitters - astrocytes soaks up neurotransmitter to terminate its function
Synthesis of neurotrophic factors (allows neurons to survive) Neuronal-glial and Glial-neuronal signalling
Potassium ion buffering
Glial scar formation


Describe oligodendricytes

TWO main types of oligodendroglia:
• Small spherical nuclei
• Few thin processes
• Prominent ER and Golgi
• Metabolically highly active
• Functions of oligodendroglia:
Production and maintenance of myelin sheath Each cell produces 1-40 myelin sheaths


Describe microglia

Developed from bone marrow during early development - the only cells that are NOT derived from the brain
• Resident macrophage population of the CNS
• Involved in immune surveillance
• Present antigens to invading immune cells
• First cells to react to infection or damage
• Role in tissue remodelling
• Synaptic stripping
• Microglial Morphology
When they respond to a change, the cell shape changes and if the stimulus is strong enough it becomes phagocytic
MS - microglial cells could be the ones destroying the myelin sheath


Describe Schwann cells

Myelin producing cells of the PNS
• Each schwann cell produces one myelin sheath
• Promote axon regeneration
• Wrap themselves around the nerve axon rather than just wrapping a process
around the axon