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Title: Interneurons  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Spinal shock
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Neuron: Interneuron
A spinal interneuron (relay neuron) forms part of a reflex arc
Location Nervous system
NeuroLex ID birnlex_2534
Code Template:TerminologiaHistologica

An interneuron (also called relay neuron, association neuron, connector neuron or local circuit neuron) is a neuron that forms a connection between other neurons. Interneurons are neither motor nor sensory. The term is also applied to brain and spinal cord neurons whose axons connect only with nearby neurons, to distinguish them from "projection" neurons, whose axons project to more distant regions of the brain or spinal cord.

Interneurons in the central nervous system

When contrasted with the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the neurons of the central nervous system (CNS), including the brain, are all interneurons. However, in the CNS, the term interneuron is used for small, locally projecting neurons (in contrast to larger projection neurons with long-distance connections). CNS interneurons are typically inhibitory, and use the neurotransmitter GABA or glycine. However, excitatory interneurons using glutamate also exist, as do interneurons releasing neuromodulators like acetylcholine.

In 2008, a nomenclature for the features of GABAergic cortical interneurons was proposed, called Petilla terminology.[1]

Inhibitory interneurons are thought to play an important role in the generation of neural oscillations.[2]

Interneurons of the spinal cord

  • 1a Inhibitory Neuron: Found in Lamina VII. Responsible for inhibiting antagonist motor neuron. 1a spindle afferents activate 1a inhibitory neuron.
  • 1b Inhibitory Neuron: Found in Lamina V, VI, VII. afferent or Golgi tendon organ activates it.

Interneurons of the cortex

  • Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons
  • CCK-expressing interneurons
  • VIP-expressing interneurons

Interneurons of the cerebellum

Interneurons of the striatum


External links

  • eMedicine Dictionary
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