Dictionary > Neuroglia

Neuroglia

Definition
noun, plural: neuroglia
A cell that surrounds a nerve cell that is responsible for providing mechanical and physical support, supplying nutrients and oxygen to the neuron, providing electrical insulation between neurons, and maintaining homeostasis
Supplement
Neuroglia is a non-neuronal cell of the nervous system. It is also called glial cells or glia, which is a Greek word meaning glue. The name comes from what appears to be the function of neuroglia, which is to act as a glue to neurons. Neuroglia is seen in nervous tissues as cells surrounding the neurons. They provide mechanical and physical support to the neurons. Their other main functions are to provide electrical insulation to one neuron from another. They also supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons. They also destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons. Thus, they are involved in maintaining homeostasis. Recent studies showed that neuroglia also have an effect on physiological processes such as breathing.1 Neuroglia cells were also shown to assist the neurons to form synaptic connections between each other.2
Word origin: Greek neuro-, combining form of neûron (sinew, tendon, cord) + Greek glía, gloía, gloiós (a glutinous substance, gum)
Synonym(s):

  • glial cell
  • glia

See also:

Reference(s):

1 Swaminathan, Nikhil (Jan–Feb 2011). “Glia—the other brain cells”. Discover.

2 Wolosker H, Dumin E, Balan L, Foltyn VN (July 2008). “D-amino acids in the brain: D-serine in neurotransmission and neurodegeneration”. The FEBS Journal 275 (14): 3514–26.


You will also like...

Selective Breeding
Selective Breeding

Gregor Mendel's studies into Monohybrid and Dihybrid crossing and Charles Darwin's study of evolution and natural select..

Human perception in action
Human Perception – Neurology

This tutorial investigates perception as two people can interpret the same thing differently. Know more about human perc..

Circulation
Circulation

The circulatory system is key to the transport of vital biomolecules and nutrients throughout the body. Learn about the ..

Lights' Effect on Growth
Lights’ Effect on Growth

This tutorial elaborates on the effect of light on plant growth. It describes how different plants require different amo..

Salmon jumping upstream in the river
Lotic Communities & Animals

A running water environment offers numerous microhabitats for many types of animals. Similar to plants, animals in lotic..

Cell Respiration
Cell Respiration

Cell respiration is the process of creating ATP. It is "respiration" because it utilizes oxygen. Know the different stag..