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The development of the brain

central cavity decreases in relative

A mass of neural tissue
size; thickness of walls and diameter
in a hollow tube
of the inclosed space vary from
region to region

forms the central canal of

SC and ventricle of brain
Largest and most numerous glial cells

---maintain blood-brain barrier

---provide structural support
---absorb and recycle
---from scar tissue after injury
have smaller cell bodies and fewer

---myelinate CNS axons

 myelin (multilayered membrane sheath)
 nodes (nodes of Ranvier)
 internodes
---provide structural framework
accounts for 5% of the CNS glial cells; the processes
have many fine branches

---remove cells debris,

wastes, and pathogens
Ependymal cells
Ventricles of the brain and central canal of the SC are lined by ependyma.
Cuboidal or columnar shaped; have slender processes

---assist in producing,
circulating, and monitoring of
cerebrospinal fluid
Satellite cells
Surround the neuron cell bodies in peripheral ganglia.

---regulate nutrients for neurons and ganglia

Schwann cells ---surround all axons whether it’s unmyelinated or myelinated
---responsible for myelination of peripheral axons

Myelinated axon

Unmyelinated axon

Formation of myelin
An Introduction to
Nervous System
Xu Jin
Department of Anatomy
Chongqing Medical University
Every minute of every day, your nervous
system is sending and receiving countless
messages about what is happening both
inside and around your body.
Outline and Objectives

Anatomical Organization
Cellular Organization
Synaptic Communication
An Introductory Glossary
Anatomical Organization

The nervous system has two

anatomical subdivisions

Central nervous system (CNS)

Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
Central nervous system (CNS)
---responsible for integrating, processing, and coordinating sensory data and
motor commands. It’s also the seat of higher functions, such as intelligence
memory , learning, and emotion

CNS contains brain and spinal cord development

 cerebrum
 cerebellum
 diencephalon
 brain stem
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
---includes all of the neural tissue outside the CNS

Afferent division
Begins at receptors, brings
ensory information to the CNS

Efferent division
Begins inside the CNS;
carries motor commands to

Both divisions have somatic and visceral components; the visceral component
of the efferent division is autonomic nervous system (ANS)

The basic unit of PNS is nerve; structurally and functionally, it’s can be divided
into cranial nerves and spinal nerves.
Overview of the nervous system
Central nervous
sensory motor
information commands
within within
afferent efferent
division division
includ nervous
es system
Somatic Autonomic
nervous nervous system

division division

special sensory somatic

receptors sensory receptors
skeletal muscle
muscle -cardiac
visceral sensory receptors muscle
Cellular Organization (neuron and neuroglia)
The nervous system includes all of
the neural tissue
20billion nerve cells (neurons)
100billion supporting cells

Glial cells are smaller than the

---responsible for the transfer and processing of information in the nervous

Basic structure of a representative neuron

synaptic terminals
cell body axon
Classification of neuron


Structural classification
 anaxonic neurons unipolar multipolar
 bipolar neurons
 unipolar neurons (pseudounipolar neurons)
 multipolar neurons (most common type in CNS)
Functional classification
Sensory neurons (10million)
---located outside the CNS; deliver
information to the CNS; axons of them
called afferent fibers

Motor neurons (half a million have been found in the

---located inside and outside the CNS; deliver motor
commands to the effectors;

Interneurons (outnumber all other neurons)

---located inside the CNS; responsible for the
analysis of sensory inputs and the coordination of
motor outputs
---isolate the neurons, provide a supporting framework and act as phagocytes

Neuroglia of the CNS Neuroglia of the PNS

Satellite cells
Schwann cells

Ependymal cells

All neuron cell bodies and axons in the PNS are

completely insulated from their surroundings by the
processes of glial cells.
The detailed structure of neuron

Cell body----perikaryon/nucleus/ cytoskeleton/ organelles/

Nissl bodies/ axon hillock
A neuron may innervate


---skeletal muscle fibers

---gland cells

Each synaptic terminal is part of a synapse which is a specialized site

where the neuron communicates with another cell.
Synaptic Communication
A synapse exists between neurons or a neuron and another cell type.

If between neurons, a synapse consists of

an axon terminal +an axon
or an axon terminal + the soma
or an axon terminal + a dendrite

Chemical synapses transfer

information by neurotransmitter
Electrical synapses permit ion flow
between the cells
Presynaptic membrane
Synaptic cleft
Postsynaptic membrane
An Introductory Glossary for the Nervous System

Central Nervous System brain and spinal cord,which

(CNS) contain control centers
responsible for processing
and integrating sensory
information, planning and
coordinating responses to
Peripheral Nervous System Neural tissue outside the
(PNS) CNS, whose function is to
link the CNS with other

Autonomic Nervous System Components of the CNS and

(ANS) PNS that are concerned with
the control of visceral
nucleus a CNS center with discrete anatomical boundaries
Gross anatomy
tract a bundle of axons within the CNS that share a common origin,
destination ,and function

pathways nucleus and tracts that connect the brain with other organs and
systems in the body
ganglia an anatomically distinct collection of sensory or motor neuron
cell bodies within the PNS
nerve a bundle of axons in the PNS

gray matter neural tissue dominated by neuron cell bodies Histology

white matter neural tissue dominated by myelinated axons
neuron the basic functional unit of the nervous system: a highly
specialized cell
axon a long , slender cytoplasmic process of a neuron; axons are
capable of conducting nerve impulses
dendrites neuronal processes that are specialized to respond to specific
stimuli in the extracellular environment
myelin a membranous wrapping, produced by glial cells

neuroglia supporting cells that interact with neurons

Functional categories

receptor a specialized cell, dendrite, or organ that responds to specific

stimuli in the extracellular environment
effector a muscle, gland, or other specialized cell or organ that responds
to neural stimulation by altering its activity and producing a
specific effect
reflex a rapid stereotyped response to a specific stimulus

somatic pertaining to the control of skeletal muscle activity (somatic

motor) or sensory information from skeletal muscles, tendons
and joints (somatic sensory)
visceral pertaining to the control of functions , such as digestion,
circulation, etc. (visceral motor) or sensory information from
visceral organs (visceral sensory)
voluntary under direct conscious control

involuntary not under direct conscious control