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Structural Organisation in Animals

Neural Tissue

Did you know there are approximately 100 billion neurons in a human brain? The brain and the spinal cord are composed of this neural tissue. Neural tissue is also called as the nervous tissue. This is a specialized kind of tissue in animals that puts them in the higher order of classification. Let us learn more about them.

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What is a Neural Tissue?

The neural tissue is a specialized tissue with some specialized functions. It is the main component of the nervous system – both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. This includes the brain, spinal cord, and other types of nerves. In two words, if we have to describe the functions of the neural tissue, we can specify that integration and communication are the main functions of this specialized tissue.

The neural tissue consists of mainly the neurons and the neuroglia. The neurons or the nerve cells are highly specialized cells that have the ability to generate and also conduct nerve impulses. There are supporting cells in the form of neuroglia that help remove the debris, give physical support along with providing electrical insulation.

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The Neuron

Neural Tissue

The neuron is the basic unit of the neural system. It has a cell body, dendrites, axons and axon terminals. Dendrites and axons are the slender processes. The cell body of the neuron contains a nucleus, rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, etc. The cell body of the neuron carries out the basic life processes of the neuron. It is the biosynthetic center of the neuron.

The dendrites are a type of motor neurons that have a large surface area. They are also short in length. The dendrites have a large area so as to receive signals from the other neurons. The incoming message is conveyed by the dendrite to the cell body. Therefore, they are called the receptive input region.

The cell body has a cone-shaped region, from where the axon arises. Axons are very long and thin. They are more wire like and can go up to several feet. This design of the axon helps in the reliable and quick transmission of information. The main function of the axon is to conduct the signals. It is mainly responsible for the generation and transmission of impulses away from the cell body.

The axon routes the nerve impulses from the cell body to other neurons or an effector organ. The axons can also have many terminal branches. The axon terminals that are present at the end of the axons are connected to other neurons.

Types of Neurons

Based on the functionality, the neurons are classified into three types. They are:

  • Sensory neurons or afferent neurons- transmit information from the Peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system.
  • Motor neurons or efferent neurons – transmit information from the central nervous system to the effector organs.
  • Interneurons- here, processes are limited to a local area in the brain or spinal cord.

Based on the structure, neurons are again classified into the following:

  • Bipolar neurons – they have one dendrite and one axon
  • Multipolar neurons – they have 3 or more processes coming from the cell body. Generally, they have one axon and many dendrites.

Solved Questions For You

Q. What is the role of neuroglia in the nervous system?

Ans. The neuroglia is also called as the glial cells. They are the unsung heroes of the nervous system. They provide protection to the nervous system. Also, they are responsible for the support and maintenance of equilibrium in the nervous system. The glial cells hold the neurons in place and supply oxygen and nutrients to the neurons.

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