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IA. Neurons - Structure/Function

A. Characteristics of normal neurons (review)

1. Structure and Function

The major function of neurons is the transmission of information mostly via chemical mechanisms to other neurons and to target cells such as muscle. The typical neuron consists of a cell body, dendritic processes specialized for receiving information from other neurons, and an axon specialized to conduct impulses away from the cell body. The cytoplasm contains the same organelles found in all cells. Some neurons, especially motor neurons, contain prominent clumps of basophilic granular material known as Nissl bodies, which are composed of rough endoplasmic reticulum and contain many ribosomes. There are three types of neurofibrils: microtubules, neurofilaments, and microfilaments. The neurofibrils function as part of the cellular cytoskeleton and in axonal transport.

This image shows three normal neurons in an H&E-stained section. The neurons are the large cells. The two on the right show a large nucleus with a nucleolus.
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