DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Excitatory (asymmetric) synapses on a neuron dendrite (mammal central nervous system), coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Two axon terminals (light blue) form excitatory synapses on a dendrite (light yellow). Chemical synapses are specialized junctions through which nerve cells signal one another or other non-neuronal cells such as muscles. At a typical synapse an axon and a dendrite flank each other across a slender gap (synaptic cleft; red). Signalling molecules, known as neurotransmitters, are contained in tiny vesicles of the axon (blue). Neurotransmitters pass rapidly from axon to dendrite triggering an electrical impulse. Magnification: x16,245 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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