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Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000.

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Cover of Molecular Cell Biology

Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition.

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Figure 21-1. Structure of typical mammalian neurons.

Figure 21-1Structure of typical mammalian neurons

Arrows indicate the direction of conduction of action potentials in axons (red). (a) Multipolar interneurons. Each has profusely branched dendrites, which receive signals at synapses with several hundred other neurons, and a single long axon that branches laterally and at its terminus. (b) A motor neuron that innervates a muscle cell. Typically, motor neurons have a single long axon extending from the cell body to the effector cell. In mammalian motor neurons an insulating sheath of myelin usually covers all parts of the axon except at the nodes of Ranvier and the axon terminals. (c) A sensory neuron in which the axon branches just after it leaves the cell body. The peripheral branch carries the nerve impulse from the receptor cell to the cell body, which is located in the dorsal root ganglion near the spinal cord; the central branch carries the impulse from the cell body to the spinal cord or brain. Both branches are structurally and functionally axons, except at their terminal portions, even though the peripheral branch conducts impulses toward, rather than away from, the cell body.


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