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Biology LibreTexts

Part 1: Neural Anatomy

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  •  Examine the microscope slides for neuron anatomy. For each of the listed slides, note the listed structures: 

    1. Motor end plate (or myo-neural junction) – the synaptic connection between a motor neuron and a skeletal muscle cell. Structures include: multiple synapses (or motor end plates), axons, skeletal muscle cells with sarcomeres, myelin sheath of Schwann cells on axons.
    2. Cerebellum – the ‘little brain’ posterior to the brain stem has folded white and gray matter that is distinguishable with the naked eye. Within the gray matter, 3 distinct neuron layers (granular, Purkinje, molecular) reveal organizational structures.
    3. Spinal cord – a cross-section of spinal cord reveals peripheral white matter, and central gray matter. The small central canal contains ependymal glia. Large motor neuron cell bodies are located in the ventral gray matter – their axons form the ventral motor root of a spinal nerve. Sensory neuron cell bodies are in the dorsal root ganglia, and their axons form the dorsal sensory root of the spinal nerves. 

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\) Myo-neural junction (or motor end plate) – This specialized synapse is critical to voluntary movement control. 

    Neural Anatomy 1.PNG

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\) Cerebellar gray matter, with large Purkinje neurons and multiple synapses (lined structures around Purkinje neuron cell bodies.

    Neural Anatomy 2.PNG

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\) A drawing outlining the neural connections in cerebellar gray matter. The large Purkinje neurons can have thousands of synapses on their dendrites in the molecular layer.

    Neural Anatomy 3.PNG

    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\) The Spinal cord sketch reveals the main anatomical structures.

    Neural Anatomy 4.PNG