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Nerve cell body
-is also called the soma or perikaryon.
-contains the organelles found in other cells, including a large nucleus
and a prominent nucleolus.
-has receptor molecules on its pbsmalemmal surface that confer
sensitivity to various neurotransmitters.
-incorporates or gives rise to the following structures:

1. Nissl substance
-is characteristic of nerve cells and consists of rosettes of polysomes
and rough endoplasmic reticulum.
-plays a role in protein synthesis.
-is abundant throughout cytoplasm and dendrites but is not found in
the axon hillock or in the axon.

2. Lysosomes
-are membrane-bound dense bodies that contain hydrolytic enzymes
and are involved in the process of intracellular digestion.
-A genetic defect in the synthesis oflysosomal enzymes results in a
storage disease [e.g., Tay-Sachs disease (GM2 gangliosidosis)].
3. Filamentous protein structures
-form an internal supportive network, the cytoskeleton, consisting of:
a. Microtubules (25 nm in diameter)
-are found in the cell body, dendrites, and axons.
-playa role in the development and maintenance of cell shape.
-playa role in the intracellular transport of peptide vesicles and
b. Neurofilaments (10 nm in diameter)
-consist of spiral protein threads that playa role in developing
and regenerating nerve fibers.
-degenerate in Alzheimer·disease to form neurofibrillary
-contain neurofilament protein, which is exclusive to neurons
and their precursors.
c. Microfilaments (5 nm in diameter)
-are composed of actin.
-are found in the tips of growing axons.
-facilitate movement of plasma membrane and growth of nerve
cell processes.

4. Inclusion bodies
-include pigment granules:

a. Lipofuscin (lipochrome) granules

-are common pigmented inclusions of cytoplasm that
accumulate' with aging.
-are considered to be residual bodies derived from lysosomes.
b. Neuromelanin (melanin)
-is a blackish pigment in the neurons of the substantia nigra and
locus ceruleus.
-disappears from the substantia nigra and the locus ceruleus
inParkinson disease
c. Lewy bodies
-are eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies found in the sub. I
stantia nigra in patients with Parkinson disease.

d. Hirano bodies
-are intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies found in the hippocampus in
patients with Alzheimer disease.
e. Negri and lyssa bodies
-are intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies found in people with rabies.

5. Dendrites
-are processes that extend from the cell body.
-contain cytoplasm similar in composition to that of the cell body;
however, no Golgi apparatus is present.
-conduct in a decremental fashion but may be capable of generating
action potentials.
-receive synaptic input and transmit it toward the cell body.
6. Axons
-arise from either the cell body or a dendrite.
-originate from the axon hillock, which lacks Nissl substance.
-give rise to collateral branches.
-may be myelinated or unmyelinated.
-generate, propagate, and transmit action potentials.
-end distally in terminal boutons in synapses with neurons, muscle
cells, and glands.

7. Nerve fibers
The nerve fibers are classified by different methods. The basis of
classification differs in each method.