Cells of the Nervous System





The Cell Body


The cell body integrates synaptic input and determines the message to be transmitted to other cells by the axon, but that is not its only function. The cell body also is responsible for a variety of complex biochemical processes. For example, the cell body contains the metabolic machinery necessary to transform glucose into high-energy compounds that supply the energy needs of other parts of the neuron. Furthermore, the highly active proteins that serve as chemical messengers between cells are manufactured and packaged in the cell body. The cell body contains a number of smaller, specialized substructures, called organelles, or little organs, which carry out many of the cellís functions. Figure 3.5 illustrates the organelles of a typical neuron.



Endoplasmic Reticulum and Golgi Apparatus



Axon Hillock


The Cell Membrane


Glia and Other Supporting Cells