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Glossary of Anatomy Chapter 11: Nervous System Fundamentals

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Neuroglia/Glial Cells
Cells which support the neurons, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, ependymal cells, Schwann cells, and satellite cells

Act as protectors, phagocytes, myelinators, play a role in capillary-neuron exchanges, and control the chemical environment around neurons.

Non-excitable.
Microglia
Small, ovoid cells with relatively long "thorny" processes. Act as macrophages/immune response cells of CNS.
Astrocytes
Most abundant glial cells. "Star shaped". Support/brace neurons and anchor them to their nutrient supply lines (capillaries).
CNS cells.
Oligodendrocytes
Glial cells which line up along the thicker neuron fibres in the CNS and wrap their processes tightly around the fibres, forming insulating myelin sheaths.
Ependymal Cells
Ciliated glial cells of the CNS. Line the central cavities of the brain and the spinal cord, where they form a barrier between the cerebrospinal fluid and the tissue fluid bathing the cells of the CNS. Help circulate cerebrospinal fluid.
Satellite Cells
PNS glial cells which surround neuron cell bodies within ganglia. Function unknown.
Schwann Cells
Glial cells which surround and form myelin sheaths around the larger nerve fibres in the PNS.
Neurons
Structural units of nervous tissue, specialized to transmit messages from one part of the body to another.
Nuclei
Clusters of neuronal cell bodies within the CNS.
Ganglia
Collections of neuronal cell bodies in the PNS.
White Matter
Myelinated regions of brain/nervous tissue
Grey Matter
Unmyelinated regions of brain/nervous tissue.
Tracts
Neuronal processes within the CNS.
Nerves
Neuronal processes within the PNS.
Neurofibrils
Cytoskeletal elements of the neuron.
Nissl Bodies
rER of neurons. (Dark splotches in cell body)
Dendrites
Receptive neuronal processes, usually shorter and highly branched.
Axons
Neuronal processes which act as transmitters and nerve impulse generators. Usually very long and unbranching.
Collaterals
Branching parts of the one axon per neuron.

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