The nervous system of higher vertebrates is made of two types of cells namely neuroglia (supporting cells of neurons) and neurons (signal transduction in the nervous system).
Neurons have two types of processes, viz, dendrons and axons, and form synapse. On the other hand, neuroglia possesses only one type of process and do not form the synapse. The majority of neurons are not capable of differentiating and multiplying in the mature nervous system whereas neuroglia can multiply themselves.
Read on to explore the important difference between neurons and neuroglia in detail.
Also Read: Neurotransmitter
Neurons vs Neuroglia
Following are the important difference between neurons and neuroglia:
|They receive and transmit nerve impulses||
They provide mechanical as well as structural support to the neurons
|Nissl’s granules||No granules|
|Formation of synapse|
Around 5-10 times the neurons in higher vertebrates
|Age & number|
|The number does not change with age||
The number decreases with age
|4 μm to 1 mm||
Smaller than neurons
|It involves itself in signal transduction||
Supplies nutrients to neurons
|The functional unit of the nervous system||
They are supporting cells of neurons
What are Neurons?
Neurons are the structural and functional units of the nervous system. They help in the conduction of nerve impulses. Neurons are made up of three main parts – axon, dendrites and cell body. Sensory neurons carry information from the sensory receptors and transmit it to the brain. The motor neurons transmit information from the brain to the body.
What are Neuroglia?
Neuroglia are non-neuronal cells that support and protect the neurons. Neuroglia in the central nervous system include astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglial cells, and ependymal cells. Schwann cells and satellite cells are the neuroglia in the peripheral nervous system.
Also Read: Neurons
Neurons are the structural and functional unit of the nervous system. They help in transmitting the nerve impulse. Neuroglia are the supporting cells. Neurons are like the communication network of the body whereas neuroglia facilitates the functioning of the communications network.
These were some of the important differences between neurons and neuroglia. To learn more about other interesting biology topics, register at BYJU’S – the learning app.