Unmyelinated and Myelinated Axons
Cell Membrane Lipid Bilayer
The framework of a neuron cell membrane is formed by a dorsal lipid bilayer consisting of two opposing rows of phospholipid molecules.
- Two fatty acids tails extend from one side of the glycerol and a phosphate group is attached to the other side.
- A nitrogenous chemical group, such as choline (shown here), typically attaches to the phosphate group.
- Phospholipids are amphiphilic or amphipathic molecules (having two different affinities; amphi: on both sides; philic: loving; pathic: suffering or disease).
- The heads are charged or polar (hydrophilic; attracted to water) because both the phosphate group and the chemical group attached it have an imbalance of associated electrons.
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- The tails are neutral or nonpolar (hydrophobic; repelled by water), Here the carbon and hydrogen atoms are linked by covalent bonds, where the electrons are shared equally between adjacent atoms.