How do I describe a neuromuscular junction?


Quick Answer

According to IvyRose Holistic, the Oxford Medical Dictionary defines a neuromuscular junction as the meeting point of a nerve fiber and the muscle fiber it supplies. Neuromuscular junctions are the locations and means by which the motor neurons of the nervous system instruct the muscle cells to take action. These instructions result in the movement of muscles and the tissues, bones and limbs attached to them.

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Full Answer

According to IvyRose Holistic, a neuromuscular junction consists of the axon terminal of a motor neuron and the motor end plate of a muscle fiber. An axon is the long process of a neuron. As the axon enters a muscle, it forms branches that are referred to as axon terminals. A synaptic end bulb is located at the end of each axon terminal. The end bulbs contain synaptic vesicles, which contain a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, or ACh.

A neuromuscular junction also contains a synaptic cleft, which is the area between the sarcolemma and axon terminal. The sarcolemma is the plasma membrane sheath that forms the outer layer of a cell. The synaptic cleft is the gap between a motor neuron and the motor end plate of a muscle cell. This is a synapse. A synapse is the area across which nerve impulses pass from one neuron to another, notes IvyRose Holistic.

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