DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Excitatory (asymmetric) synapse (mammal central nervous system), coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). 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). Signalling molecules, known as neurotransmitters, are contained in tiny vesicles of the axon (light yellow). Neurotransmitters pass rapidly from axon to dendrite triggering an electrical impulse. Magnification: x16, 535 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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