Structure and Function of the Motor Cortex Areas
Neuron Cell Body – Structure and Functions
Neuron cell bodies basically have the same cytoplasmic components as other types of secretory cells.
The cell’s large nucleus and nucleolus are the most prominent cell body structures.
- Group of free ribosomes and and numerous stack of ribosome studded rough endoplasmic reticulum (REP) surround the nucleus.
- Because they stain well with basic dyes, the free ribosomes and REP are often referred to as chromatophilic substance or Nissl bodies (see micrograph).
- The REB and free ribosomes synthesize the cell’s proteins.
- Proteins made by the free ribosomes enter the cytoplasm and are used for metabolic processes in the neuron
- Proteins made by the REP are further processed and distributed (look at the GIF below) so they can be used for neurotransmission.
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- First, the REP proteins are placed in transport vesicles, which travel through the cytoplasm and fuse with a nearby Golgi apparatus (Golgi complex or Golgi body).
- Inside the Golgi apparatus, the proteins are chemically addressed, sorted, and packaged. The altered proteins are eventually placed in secretory vesicles, which bud from the Golgi apparatus.
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- Pipe-like microtubules move the secretory vesicles down the axon to synaptic knobs. Here they are either used as neurotransmitters or help make new neurotransmitters.
- The energy for this and other cellular activities is supplied by ATP (adenosine triphosphate) synthesized by mitochondria.
- Also inside the cell body are many neurofilaments, which are narrow strand of protein (intermediate filaments). They form a supportive cytoskeleton that helps maintain the shape of the cell body.