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Neurons and

synapse
Nervous system

neurons
The building blocks of
the nervous system

Neuron
STRUCTURE

axon:

long, thin processes;


specialized structure of neuron

axon
Has a specialized protein ion
channels that enable the axon to
conduct electrochemical signal from
the cell body to the axon terminal
That signal is also known as action
potential

Dendrites:

short branched extension of the


cell body; where impulses received from other cells
at synapses are transmitted to the cell
body.

dendrites
Has specialized receptors that react
to the release of neurotransmitters
Molecules that produce a change in
polarization of the membrane

Myelin sheath: is a fatty white substance


that surrounds the axon of some nerve
forming an electrically
insulating layer

cells,

Soma: cell body;


contains the organelles of the neuron

soma
The neuron contains the organelles
that are common to all cells:
cell membrane, nucleus, endoplasmic
reticulum, cytoplasm

Axon hillock: connects the axon


and the cell

body

Neuron
BASIC TYPES

Have process
extending
from each
end of the
cell body

Has a single
process
attached to a
around cell
body

Unipolar neurons: Has cell bodies in


the posterior

root ganglia of the spinal cord

Have many
dendrites
extending from
extending from
the cell body
and a single
axon
- the axon may split
into two or more collateral
axons after it leaves the
cell body

Multipolar neurons
Can be found in the :
anterior horn of the spinal cord (spinal
motor neurons)
Motor nuclei of cranial nerves
Central and autonomic nervous system
sites

Neurons
SOME REPRESENTATIVE NEURONS

Purkinje cells: Found in the


cerebellar cortex

Pyramidal cells:

The most numerous cells in


the cerebral cortex; can also be found in the
hippocampus and amygdala

Stellate cells:

Also located in the cerebral cortex

Nervous tissue
TYPES OF STAINS

TYPES OF STAINS FOR NERVOUS


TISSUE
SPECIAL STAINS is most commonly
used in the nervous tissue
GOLGI PREPARATIONS stain all of the
processes of an individual neurons
but react with only very small
percentage of the total number of
neurons

TYPES OF STAINS FOR NERVOUS


TISSUE
NISSL STAIN react with rough endoplasmic
reticulum therefore, allow the shape and size of
cell bodies to be visualized but do not stain
dendrites and axons.
MYELIN STAIN allow the visualization of
myelinated fibers but do not react with cell
bodies or dendrites
H&E STAINS are often used in diagnosis of
pathological conditions and sometimes used to
stain normal nervous tissue

INFORMATION TRANSMISSION IN THE


NERVOUS SYSTEM
1. The primary function of the nervous
system are to transfer
information from one place to
another
2. Process that information to
generate sensory experience,
perceptions, ideas, and motor
activity.
3. Axon is where information is carried
in the form of action potentials

INFORMATION TRANSMISSION IN THE


NERVOUS SYSTEM
4. Neurotransmitters is where the
electrochemical potential causes the
release of molecules
5. These molecule act upon receptor
complexes
6. Synapse (red dashed circles)
7. The action of the neurotransmitters
may be either excitatory and
inhibitory on the postsynaptic
membrane

synapse
NERVOUS SYSTEM

ELEMENTS OF SYNAPSE
Chemical synapse consists of
TERMINAL BOUTON a swelling at
the end of axon terminal
Contains many synaptic vessels

ELEMENTS OF SYNAPSE
synaptic vessels contains
neurotransmitter molecules
PRESYNAPTIC MEMBRANE
POSTSYNAPTIC MEMBRANE
SYNAPTIC CLEFT spaces between the
two

ELEMENTS OF SYNAPSE
EXOCYTOSIS
RECEPTORS

SYNAPSE

IMPORTANCE OF SYNAPSE

Information processing (thinking)


Changes with experience (learning)
Targets of psychoactive drugs
Defective in neurological diseases
Defective in psychiatric disorders

SYMMETRIC or ASYMMETRIC
ASYMMETRIC SYNAPSES are characterized
by rounded vesicles in the presynaptic
cell, and a prominent post synaptic
density when observed under an electron
microscope. [usually EXCITATORY]
SYMMETRIC SYNAPSES on the other hand
have flatened or elongated vesicles ,
and do not contain a prominent
postsynaptic density. [usually INHIBITORY]

HYPERPOLARIZATION
vs.
DEPOLARIZATION

HYPERPOLARIZATION [inhibitory influence]


is when the membrane potential becomes more
negative at a particular spot on the neurons
membrane
DEPOLARIZATION[excitatory influence]
is when the membrane potential becomes less
negative (more positive)

**The sum of inhibitory and excitatory influences


define whether it will fire a action potential or
not.

The opening of channels that let positive


ions flow out of the cell (or negative ions
flow in) can cause hyperpolarization.
Examples: Opening of channels that let
K+ out of the cell or Cl- into the cell.
The opening of channels that let positive
ions flow into the cell can cause
depolarization.
Example: Opening of channels that let
Na+ into the cell.

SYNAPTIC CLEFT
is a gap between
the pre- and
postsynaptic
cells that is
about 20nm
wide. The small
volume of the
cleft allows
neurotransmitter
concentration to
be raised and
lowered rapidly

PRESYNAPTIC
vs.
POSTSYNAPTIC

The presynaptic
neuron is the neuron
before the synapse, this
neuron is delivering the
"message" across the
synapse to the
postsynaptic neuron.
The postsynaptic
neuron is the "receiver"
of the neurotransmitter
"message"

PRESYNAPTIC
Contains the neurotransmitter,
mitochondria and other cell
bodies, called organelles

POSTSYNAPTIC
Contains receptor sites for
neurotransmitter