Review of Basic Neuron Anatomy - Human Physiology - OpenStax CNX

The picture above is the anatomy of a neuron and the different parts to it.

Action potential bounces along the fibre and at the same time is being regenerated at each node. This is a process called saltatory conduction.


  • Dendrites: Recieve chemical signals and convert them to electric impulses that move them inward, towards the cell body.
  • Axon: Electrical impulses from the neuron travel away to be received by other neurons.
  • Cell body: Neurons core; carries genetic info, maintains structure, and provides energy.
  • Myelin Sheath: Allows electrical impulses to move quickly along nerve cells
  • Nodes of Ranvier: Facilitate rapid electric conduction
  • Terminal Branches of Axon: So neurons can send information to several others

How do neurons carry messages & communicate with each other? 

Well, a neurotransmitter is released, crosses the synapse, and attach themselves to the receptors of another neuron. Receptors then process and send the message to the next neuron, then eventually the brain.

The receiving neuron determines whether or not to send its own action potential based on if the inside of the receiving axon is more positive or negative. When neurotransmitters bind to the receptors on the receiving cell it can either trigger an opening or closing in the channels.

In response to nerve injury schwann cells help repair by undergoing rapid changes. They are found close to the axon.

Astrocytes support neuron function by producing antioxidants, recycling neurotransmitters, and maintaining the BBB. Astrocytes are found within the cell body.

Ependymal cells play a key role in the production of cerebrospinal fluid and are found in the ventricles that line the brain and spinal cord.



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