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Lecture 2

NROSCI 0081 Lecture 2: Cells of the Nervous System

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University of Pittsburgh
April Dukes

Lecture 2 1617 Cells of the Nervous System Neuron Doctrine Cell theory 1839 o All living organisms are composed of cells o All cells arise from other cells o The cell is the most basic structure in an organism Reticular Theory The nervous system is a single continuous network o Golgi Stain The nervous system is made of discreet units Neuron Doctrine o Neurons are cells o Nervous system is made of neurons o Neurons differ in size, shape, and structure according to their location and function Joseph von Gerlach and Ramon y Cajal both won nobel prizes 1950s: electron microscope supports Neuron Doctrine Synapse: tiny gaps between the neurons Cells of the Nervous System Neurons o Carry out major brain functions o Approximately 100 billion o Specialized for reception, conduction, and transmission of electrochemical signals Electrical impulses are signals transmitted within a neuron Chemical neurotransmission is between a neuron and its target happens at the synapse Glia o Aid and modulate neurons activities o Approximately 15 trillion o Astrocytes Most abundant Role in BBB Physical barrier between blood and neurons Tight junctions of blood vessel epithelial cells proteins lock together to keep things out Astrocyte endfeet (endfoot processes) Limits what can get into the brain from the blood Essential component to a healthy brain Make and regulate and store neurotransmitters Provide nutrients to neurons Repair injury (form scar tissue, like in brain after stroke, protects rest of the brain from this injury) o Microglia
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