? communications, neurons, glial cells

N nicki.cee at virgin.net
Fri Jun 18 07:49:02 EST 2004


      I have a question about communications and nerve
cells. The following excerpts refer to neurons and glia 
cells, both suggest that the cells could be equally 
important to thinking and learning.

 Scientific American. 4.2004. pp29
 work together in the brain and spinal cord.
 A neuron sends a message down a long axon 
 and across a synaptic gap to a dentrite on
 another neuron. Astrocyte glia bring nutrients
 to neurons as well as surrond and regulate 
 synapses. Oligodendrocyte glia produce myelin
 that insulates axons. When a neuron's electrical
 (action potential) reaches the axon terminal--
 the message induces vesicles to move to the 
 membrane and open, releasing neurotransmitters
 (signaling molecules) that diffuse across a
 narrow synaptic cleft to the dendrite's receptors.
 Similar principles apply in the body's peripheral 
 nervous system, where Schwann cells perform 
 myelination duties.'

 Message-ID: <3977d48e.0 at oracle.zianet.com>
 "These findings suggest that this recently identified
 signaling pathway involving astrocytes may modulate intercellular
 communication in the brain under normal conditions and even play a role in
 information processing."

My quesion is,

Per cell, is there an avarage or maximum (dendrite)
connections that they will make?, and are the connections
permanent or fixed or will they periodically disconnect and
reconnect to another axon?

thank you,


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