Sie sind auf Seite 1von 4

LECTURE 9: Nervous Tissue Introduction: the nervous system is formed by >100 million neurons and aided by many more

glial cells. The neurons, also known as nerve cells, form at least 1,000 interconnections with other cells and are usually arranged in groups (circuits) to facilitate many coordinated actions resulting in multiple functions. Organization of the Nervous System Central NS: composed of the brain (cerebri, cerebelli) and the spinal cord Peripheral NS: composed of the cranial nerves, spinal nerves, and ganglia Cells of the Nervous System Neurons: primary functional cells; conducts nerve impulses within the NS; highly irritable or excitable Glial cells: support cells of NS; provide nutrition and protection (defense) to the neurons and aid neurons in their function Morphology of Neurons Dendrites: multiple, branching short processes Branch profusely: multiple contacts with other cells (e.g. neurons, sensory cells) to receive or gather nerve impulses Dendrite spines: mushroom-shaped expanded heads Body (perikaryon): enlarged portion of the cell that contains most organelles Nucleus: large, spherical, prominent nucleolus RER: highly developed, produced basophilic and granular areas (Nissl bodies) Golgi complex: around the periphery of nucleus Mitochondria: also found in processes Neurofilaments: scaffolding within cells Axon: long process that ends in axon terminals (end bulbs, boutons); mostly only one per neuron and usually a very long cylindrical process; it originates from axon the hillock of cell body; contains cytoplasm (axoplasm) with anterograde and retrograde flows; its plasma membrane is also known as axolemma Morphologic Classification of Neurons: characteristics are very complex; most are of the multipolar variety except for bipolar and pseudounipolar neurons, which are not very numerous in nerve tissue Multipolar neurons: one axon but a large number of branching dendrites Bipolar neurons: one axon and one dendrite emerging from the cell body Pseudounipolar neurons: one short process coming off the perikaryon which immediately bifurcates into a long process extending peripherally and a shorter branch extending toward the CNS Functional Classification of Neurons Sensory (afferent) neuron: directs nerve impulses to the CNS from sensory cells Motor (efferent): directs nerve impulses to effector cells (e.g. muscle and gland cells) Interneuron: connects both types; integrates afferent impulse within CNS in order to produce efferent impulse

Synapse: site of functional contact between neurons and other cells (neurons, muscle cell, glandular cell); provides a unidirectional transmission of nerve impulses; where there is conversion of electrical signal (nerve impulse) into chemical signal Types of synapses: axosomatic, axodendritis, axoaxonic Synaptic regions: Presynaptic: axon terminal, contain neurotransmitters (NT) Synaptic cleft: microscopic gap Postsynaptic: another cell, with receptors for NT; the binding of neurotransmitter molecules to its surface receptors initiates action which may be nerve impulse formation among neurons; through its dendrite (axodendritic type), axon terminal (axoaxonic) or body (axosomatic type) secretion among gland cells contraction among muscle cells Regulation of synaptic activity: both stimulatory and inhibitory presynaptic cells may control using different neurotransmitters (either inhibitory or stimulatory) Neurotransmitters Produced in neuron cell body Delivered by anterograde flow of axoplasm towards the axon terminal (presynaptic region) Stored in vesicles in axon terminal Released by exocytosis into the synaptic cleft upon arrival of a nerve impulse Glial Cells: ten times more abundant that neurons in the brain; surround neuronal cell bodies, axons and dendrites and occupy spaces between neurons; varied morphology Oligodendrocytes: cellular processes produce myelin sheath to axons in CNS for insulation Schwann cells: the same function as above but associated with axons in PNS Astrocytes: star-shaped cells with multiple radiating processes; most numerous glial cell and diverse in appearance; bind neurons to capillaries and form the blood-brain barrier Ependymal cells: low columnar epithelial cells lining brain ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord Microglia: macrophages that migrate into the nervous tissue; have defense function (phagocytosis, antigen-presentation); appear small, elongated with short irregular processes Central Nervous System The brain (cerebri, cerebelli) and spinal cord have almost no connective tissues and appear relatively soft and gel-like Histologic appearance: depends on the distribution of myelin White matter: mostly myelinated axons Gray matter: cell bodies, dendrites, glial cells Brain:

The cerebrum is composed of gray matter in the periphery (cortex) containing 6 layers of cells involved in processing of sensory data and formation of motor responses; many pyramid-shaped neurons with their processes and a few glial cells Cerebellum cortex: contains 3 layers (outer molecular, central large Purkinje cells, inner granule); outer molecular layer has less dense arrangement of cells while an inner granular layer has very small neurons in compact arrangement; Purkinje cells have conspicuous cell body and highly developed dendrites Both the cerebral and cerebellar medullae (deeper layer) is composed of white matter; nuclei is a term that means islands of gray matter within the white matter Spinal Cord White matter: peripherally-located in contrast to that of the cerebri and cerebelli; contains mainly axons with myelin sheath Gray matter: centrally-located, H-shaped with an anterior horn that contains motor neurons and a posterior horn with sensory neurons; surrounds the central canal lined by ependyma; contains neuronal bodies and abundant cell processes Meninges: connective tissue membranes beneath the bones; function to protect the brain and spinal cord Dura mater: external, dense connective tissue attached to the periosteum of skull and vertebral bones Arachnoid mater: middle meningeal layer Subarachnoid space- trabeculated space that contains CSF and blood vessels Arachnoid villi- protrusions into the large veins, return CSF into blood Pia mater: inner layer, composed of loose connective tissue, closely adherent to brain surfaces Choroid Plexus: the CSF-producing structures in the walls of brain ventricles which are rich in fenestrated capillaries. CSF circulates in ventricles, subarachnoid space, central canal of the spinal cord and excreted in arachnoid villi that protrude into large veins that course through brain surfaces. Peripheral Nervous System Nerves: bundles of nerve fibers (many axons) Nerve endings: synapses Ganglia: contain the cell bodies of sensory nerve fibers and are the posterior and anterior roots of the spinal nerves Nerve Fibers: consist of axons enveloped by sheath Myelinated: wrapped within many layers of cell membranes (lipoprotein-rich) by~ Oligodendrocytes in the CNS and Schwann cells in the PNS Nodes of Ranvier: gaps between sheaths; promotes rapid passage of nerve impulse Unmyelinated: different among fibers in the CNS and PNS CNS: no sheathing by any cell PNS: Schwann cells envelop incompletely many axons within simple clefts Connective tissue insulations separate nerve fibers into groups Epineurium: external fibrous coat of dense connective tissue surround many bundles Perineurium: surrounds each bundle of nerve fibers

Endoneurium: innermost covering that surrounds individual Schwann cell-sheathed axon Degeneration and Regeneration Neurons: not capable of mitosis; regeneration is limited to destroyed processes but with intact cell body Glial cells: capable of mitosis hence can regenerate; can fill up empty spaces left by degenerated neurons Histological changes in nerve injury: Picture showing normal nerve fiber and effector cell (skeletal muscle). When injured, nucleus moves to periphery, and Nissl bodies become greatly reduced. The axon distal to the injury degenerates along with its myelin sheath. Debris is phagocytosed by macrophages. Ultimately at the 3rd month, the muscle fiber shows pronounced denervation atrophy. Schwann cells proliferate, forming compact cord penetrated by the growing axon (rate of 0.5-3 mm per day). After 3 months, there is successful axon regeneration along with muscle fiber after receiving nerve stimuli. Then several months later, when the axon does not penetrate the cord of Schwann cells, its growth is not organized.