Q:

What is the function of the Nissl bodies in neurons?

A:

Quick Answer

The main function of Nissl bodies within neurons is to aid in the production and dispersal of chemical substances such as proteins and peptides, as illustrated by Richard F. Thompson in his book "The Brain: A Neuroscience Primer." The structure of Nissl bodies makes them particularly adept at protein synthesis, an essential cellular process within a neuron.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The structure of Nissl bodies consists of a granular and concentrated section of the endoplasmic reticulum. The Nissl substance that creates the bodies is made up of RNA, proteins, lipids and acid polysaccharides that aid in the creation of proteins. It is believed that the majority of proteins created by Nissl bodies are used intercellularly.

Since Nissl bodies are found only in the soma and dendrites of a neuron and do not appear in the axon, the proteins they create are likely carried to the axon by axontransmitters. Nissl bodies are essential to the well-being of a neuron; a decrease in the number of Nissl bodies in a neuron indicates neural degeneration.

These structures change abruptly in the case of inflammatory disease, oxygen deprivation or trauma to the nervous system. They are named after the German scientist, F. Nissl, who first developed the technique of staining and identifying the structures with methylene blue.

Learn more about Nerves
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is the myelin sheath formed?

    A:

    The myelin sheath is formed as individual cells extend their plasma membranes around the axons of neurons in a spiral fashion. In the central nervous system, these are called oligodendroglial cells, while in the peripheral nervous system, they are called Schwann cells.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What carries messages from the senses to the brain?

    A:

    Sensory neurons receive impulses and carry messages from the sense organs to the brain. Once the brain receives this information, it sends new information to the motor nerves to tell them what actions to perform.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of neural communication?

    A:

    Neural communication is any type of signaling between neurons throughout the nervous system. Neurons are small cells that reside throughout the human body. They communicate through action potentials, which are electrical impulses that are short-lasting and send signals from one neuron to another. Neural communication is vital for the central and peripheral nervous systems to be at optimal health.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What type of neuron carries information to the CNS?

    A:

    Afferent neurons, also known as sensory neurons, carry sensory information to the central nervous system, or CNS. These neurons interact with efferent and interneurons to produce reactions based on sensations. The majority of afferent neurons in the body's peripheries are unipolar.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore