MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Synaptic junctions. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing the junction sites, also known as synapses, between motor nerves and body tissue. At centre is body tissue. Motor nerves (axons, clustered around the body tissue) act to stimu- late the tissue, for example: causing muscle to contract. Motor neuron axons divide into branches, before forming small terminal swellings (as seen here). These swellings or motor end plates attach to the tissue surface, and in this way synapse with it. The swellings release neurotransmitter chemicals in response to electrical impulses from the nerves. Receptors in the body tissue then respond to these neurotransmitter chemicals.
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