THE NERVE CELL & ITS FUNCTION

A nerve cell is a ultrastructure part of nervous system. Like any other type of cell of human body it also contains different types of organelles that keep them alive and allow them to remain functional. These includes a nucleus, nucleolus, Golgi bodies and the mitochondria. The different types of organelles play different roles which contribute to the proper functioning of the neuron. The DNA contained in the nucleus contains genetic material that controls all characteristics of the cell, the cytoskeleton (which consists of a tubular structure) helps maintain the shape of the neuron as well as the transportation of substances like proteins.

Different types of nerve cells make up the nervous system, they all contain three primary structures:

Cell body (Soma)

The soma is the cell body of the nerve cell that contains the nucleus. Compared to the other sections of the cell, the cell body is larger and spherical in shape. Apart from connecting the dendrites and axons, which allows for nerve impulses to be transmitted from one cell to another, the soma is also the site of protein synthesis.

Dendrites

Dendrites are the tree-like branched structures that arise from the nerve cell body. Depending on the cell, dendrites may extend significantly resembling a highly branched tree. Apart from the main dendrite branches, dendrites may contain additional protrusions known as dendrite spines. Dendrites receive electrical impulses from axons of other nerve cells which in turn accumulate in the soma before being sent to the axon hillock which is cone shaped.

The Axon

The axon is a single elongated structure that extends from the Axon Hillock. The axon is straighter in appearance and has a smoother surface. The dendrites are highly branched, while each neuron has a single axon that extends and branches at its end. While it lacks many of the organelles found in the cell body, the axon contains microtubules (along the length of the axon) and specialized, insulating substances known as myelin on its surface that boost the transmission of nerve impulses.

By – Principal – : Dr. Rashmi Dhingra
UCBMSH Magazine – (YouthRainBow)
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