MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of synapses between a motor neurone (tree-like) & skeletal muscle cells (bands in background). The end of the axon (large fibre) of a motor neurone in contact with a muscle cell divides into branches, each one terminating in a motor end plate on a different muscle fibre. A single axon thereby has the ability to activate several hundred muscle fibres. The end of each branch divides to form a cluster of small swellings on the muscle surface (visible). The motor end plate fits into a recess in the muscle fibre & releases neurotransmitter chemicals that activate or inhibit muscle activity. Magnification: x125 at 35mm size.
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