Veterinary Neurobiology

Veterinary Neurobiology

(Parte 1 de 11)


Neurobiology (CVM 6120)

Class Notes

Alvin J. Beitz, PhD and Thomas F. Fletcher, DVM, PhD

1: Neurohistology I: Cellular Features3
2: Neurohistology I: Meninges/Receptors1
3: Nervous System Development (Embryology)18
4: Spinal Cord Organization31
5: Spinal Reflexes & Neuronal Integration36
6: Cranial Nerves4
7: Vestibular System50
8: Posture and Movement5
9: Cerebral Hemisphere and Cortex60
10: Nociception I65
1: Nociception I71
12: Cerebellum76
13: Diencephalon and Hypothalamus81
14: Olfaction and Limbic System86
15: Auditory System90
16: Visual System96


Lecture 1 Neurohistology I:

Cells and General Features

Overall Objectives: to understand the histological components of nervous tissue; to recognize the morphological features of neurons; and to differentiate myelinated from non-myelinated axons

I. Basic Organization: A. Central Nervous System (CNS)—brain and spinal cord

B. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)—all cranial and spinal nerves and their associated roots and ganglia

Functional PNS Divisions:

skeletal muscle or somatosensory receptors of the skin, muscle & joints.

A. Somatic Nervous System—a one neuron system that innervates (voluntary)

B. Autonomic Nervous System—a two neuron visceral efferent system that innervates cardiac and smooth muscle and glands. It is involuntary and has two major subdivisions: 1) Sympathetic (thoracolumbar) 2) Parasympathetic (craniosacral)

I. Histological Components:

A. Supporting (non-neuronal) Cells— Glial cells provide support and protection for neurons and outnumber neurons 10:1. The CNS has three types and the PNS has one:

1. Astrocytes—star-shaped cells that play an active role in brain function by influencing the activity of neurons. They are critical for 1) recycling neurotransmitters; 2) secreting neurotrophic factors (e.g., neural growth factor) that stimulate the growth and maintenance of neurons; 3) dictating the number of synapses formed on neuronal surfaces and modulating synapses in adult brain; and 4) maintaining the appropriate ionic composition of extracellular fluid surrounding neurons, by absorbing excess potassium and other larger molecules.

2. Oligodendrocytes— The oligodendrocyte is the analog of the Schwann cell in the central nervous system and is responsible for forming myelin sheaths around brain and spinal cord axons. Myelin is an electrical insulator.

3. Microglia—are the smallest of glial cells. They represent the intrinsic immune effector cells of the CNS and underlie the inflammation response that occurs following damage to the central nervous system and the invasion of microorganisms.

4. Lemmocytes (Schwann Cells)— Schwann cells are glia cells of the PNS. They wrap individually around the shaft of peripheral axons, forming a layer or myelin sheath along segments of the axon. The Schwann cell membrane, which forms the myelin sheath, is composed primarily of lipids; the lipid serves as an insulator thereby speeding the transmission rate of action potentials along the axon.

dendritic zone (receives input) axon (conducts excitation) telodendritic zone myelin nodemyelin internode telodendritic branches (with terminal bulbs) next neuron (dendrite) axon hillock (of cell body) input (telodendrite) dendrite cell body (soma) initial segment (of axon) axon

Multipolar Neuron

5. Ependyma — in addition to the above glial cells, the CNS has epithelial-like cells that line the ventricles of the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord.

Note: Glial cells are capable of reproduction, and when control over this capacity is lost primary brain tumors result. Astrocytomas and glioblastomas are amongst the most deadly or malignant forms of cancer.

they are specialized to conduct electrical signals.

B. Neurons (nerve cells)—neurons are the structural and functional units of the nervous system;

Note: The plasma membrane of the neuron contains both voltage gated ion channels (involved in generation and conduction of electrical signals) and receptors (which bind neurotransmitters and hormones and use distinct molecular mechanisms for transmembrane signaling; examples include ligand-gated ion channels and G protein coupled receptors).

1. Morphological Features of neurons (3 component parts; see Fig.1 below):

A. Cell body— the expanded portion of the neuron that contains the nucleus; — stains basophilically due to the abundance of RER and polyribosomes;

— the clumps of RER & polyribosomes are referred to as Nissl Bodies.

B. Dendrites— one to many extensions of the cell body; — specialized to receive input from other neurons or from receptors;

— contain Nissl bodies in their proximal parts and thus the initial portions of dendrites stain basophilically; — often have small protrusions, called dendritic spines, that expand the dendritic surface area and serve as sites of synaptic contact.

Figure 1: Diagram of a neuron illustrating its component parts axon terminal branches (transmit neuronal output)

(axon terminal)

C. Axon— typically one per neuron; — an extension of the cell body that is specialized for conducting electrical impulses (action potentials). — lacks Nissl bodies and does not stain with routine histological stains.

Note: Axons are either myelinated (surrounded by a fatty insulating sheath that speeds conduction of the electrical impulse) or non-myelinated (lacking a myelin sheath and thus conduct impulses slowly).

2. Definitions:

A. Ganglion — a collection of neuron cell bodies situated in the PNS

B. Nucleus — this term is used in a special sense in neurobiology to describe a collection of neuronal cell bodies in the CNS (accumulation of gray matter)

C. Nerves — bundles of axons that extend out from the brain as cranial nerves and from the spinal cord as spinal nerves (surrounded by connective tissue sheaths)

D. Tract — a bundle of axons (nerve fibers) within the CNS (connective tissue is absent)

3. Neuronal Classification:

A. Anatomically, by number of processes: 1) Unipolar (pseudounipolar)

Neuron — has one process that bifurcates; the cell body of this neuronal type is found in spinal and cranial ganglia. 2) Bipolar Neuron — has 2 processes (relatively rare; retina of eye and certain cranial ganglia). 3) Multipolar Neuron — many processes; typically 1 axon and 2 or more dendrites (most common type of neuron).

B. Functionally: 1) Motor (Efferent) — related to innervation of muscle, glands etc.; activation of these neurons leads to some motor event (i.e., contraction of a muscle).

2) Sensory (Afferent) — related to the transfer of sensory information (i.e., pain, touch, pressure, etc.); e.g., neurons of spinal (dorsal root) ganglia.

3) Interneurons — neither motor or sensory (e.g., neurons responsible for the various spinal reflexes).

MultipolarNeuronUnipolar NeuronBipolar Neuro telodendria (synapse in CNS) coiled proximal axon cell body cell bodyaxon hillock (of cell body) dendrite axon cell bodyaxon dendritic zone (synapses on hair cells of cochlea) receptor

(free nerve endings) telodendria

Types of Neurons

4. Axons:

Axons are neuron processes that project to and synapse with dendrites or cell bodies of other neurons or with non-neuronal targets (e.g. muscle). Swellings, termed axonal varicosities/boutons, are found along the axon or at its terminal branches and are typically the sites where synapses occur (see Neurohistology, Lecture I). Morphologically axons are divided into two types: myelinated and non-myelinated.

(Parte 1 de 11)