Cellular Neurobiology of CNS/PNS Diseases (Week 1--Vinters) Flashcards Preview

Block 5: Neuroscience > Cellular Neurobiology of CNS/PNS Diseases (Week 1--Vinters) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cellular Neurobiology of CNS/PNS Diseases (Week 1--Vinters) Deck (14)

What part of the brain does not form until after birth?

Cerebellum is one structure where neuronal migration continues through first 16-18 months of life


Where do microglial precursors originate from?

Bone marrow

Note: microglial precursors colonize CNS during first trimester of pregnancy, leading to well-established microglial population by second trimester


Primary vs. secondary demyelination

Primary demyelination: primary degeneration of a myelin sheath when axon is intact/preserved; not related to specific tracts; key event in demyelinating diseases like MS

Secondary demyelination: degeneration of myelin sheath that results from degeneration of the ensheathed axon; affects specific tracts; mechanism is Wallerian degeneration; occurs in many diseases (infarct, etc)


Central chromatolysis

Occurs proximal to cut in axon, at the neuronal cell body

Neuron body swells and nucleus and Nissl are pushed to periphery of cell body

Loss of normal basophilic appearance of cell body

May be reversible or may progress to death of neuronal cell body


Wallerian degeneration

"axonal neuropathy"

Breakdown of axon distal to cut


Retrograde degeneration

"distal axonopathy"

Progressive injury from distal to proximal axon

Can cause neuronal cell body to atrophy


Trans-synaptic degeneration (TSD)

Neuron or group of neurons (entire nucleus) undergoes atrophy when major synaptic input is lost (due to infarct, traumatic injury, etc)

Slow process, progresses over months to years


Four ways that neuronal cell bodies may undergo irreversible injury

1) Anoxic-ischemic change: inadequate O2/blood delivery to the high energy-dependent neuron

2) Excitotoxicity: neurons overstimulated because of excessive glutamate stimulation

3) Programmed cell death: poorly understood mechanism; probably significant in neurodegenerative diseases

4) Metabolic storage diseases: cytoplasm becomes distended with excessive potentially toxic metabolites and lysosomal products (Tay-Sachs disease)


Four types of glia in CNS

1) Astrocytes: most abundant cell type of brain, supporting cells in CNS, regulate fluid and ion balance (mop up NT), cerebral microvascular endothelium (maintain BBB), regulate glutamate levels

2) Oligodendrocytes: small, regular, round cells with short processes (fried egg appearance) that provide myelin sheaths for several CNS axons

3) Ependyma: line ventricular system, have limited repertoire of responses to injury

4) Microglia: derived from bone marrow, are scavenger cells that proliferate in response to CNS injury


Cortical ribbon

Cerebral cortex on the outside of the brain

Gray matter

Note: there should always be a clear line between cortex and white matter


Contents of posterior fossa

Brainstem (midbrain, pons, medulla oblongata)




"extracellular" fibers of astrocytes, neurons, etc (unmyelinated axons, dendrites, glial cell processes)

Low number of cell bodies in neuropil area




Nissl substance

Rough ER (protein synthesis factory!)


What can happen if infarct kills cell bodies in the brain?

Corticospinal tracts (really long!) can degenerate

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