Free and printable synapse diagrams have been collected for you in high resolution. The synapse is the point of connection between two neurons or between a neuron and a muscle or gland. Electrochemical communication between neurons takes place at these junctions. The synapse consists of three elements: 1) the presynaptic membrane which is formed by the terminal button of an axon, 2) the postsynaptic membrane which is composed of a segment of dendrite or cell body, and 3) the space between these two structures which is called the synaptic cleft. Some cells in the nervous system have as many as two hundred thousand synaptic connections. Provided below is the first synapse diagrams with the complete illustration.
Synapses can be classified by the type of cellular structures serving as the pre- and post-synaptic components. The vast majority of synapses in the mammalian nervous system are classical axo-dendritic synapses (axon synapsing upon a dendrite), however, a variety of other arrangements exist. These include but are not limited to axo-axonic, dendro-dendritic, axo-secretory, somato-dendritic, dendro-somatic, and somato-somatic synapses. The axon can synapse onto a dendrite, onto a cell body, or onto another axon or axon terminal, as well as into the bloodstream or diffusely into the adjacent nervous tissue.
These synapses in the human body are essential to neuronal function: neurons are cells that are specialized to pass signals to individual target cells, and synapses are the means by which they do so. At a synapse, the plasma membrane of the signal-passing neuron (the presynaptic neuron) comes into close apposition with the membrane of the target (postsynaptic) cell. Both the presynaptic and postsynaptic sites contain extensive arrays of a molecular machinery that link the two membranes together and carry out the signaling process.
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