How is the structure of a nerve cell adapted to its function?

How is the structure of a nerve cell adapted to its function?


A nerve cell (a.k.a. neuron) has several structures that relate to its function. There is a cell body that contains all of the necessary organelles of a neuron. Surrounding the cell body are extensions called dendrites that receive action potentials from other cells. Also, extending outward from the cell body is an axon that tends to lead action potentials toward the axon terminal. Surrounding the axon is myelin sheath, pieces of myelin that insulate the axon and causes the action potential to "jump" to speed up the process. Also, toward the axon terminal are extensions of cells that connect to other tissue to send the action potentials. Synapses are also located at the axon terminal that release neurotransmitter into another neuron or another cell.

Here's an image of a neuron:…

Hope this helps!


It has a myelin sheath made of schwann cells. This causes the impulses to 'jump' from one node of ranvier to the next. This 'jumping' is also called saltatory.

Plenty of mitochondria for active transport of Na+ and K+ in and out of the nerve.

Sorry if this is for gcse or something, then it will probably be wrong, this is A level standard :P