Q. 705.0( 4 Votes )

Explain the structure of nerve cell through diagram. Explain the importance of hypothalamus and pituitary gland.


Answer :

A nerve cell i.e., a neuron is the basic structural and functional unit of a nervous system. It is made up of dendrites that arise from the cell body or perikaryon and axon. The perikaryon contains a cell nucleus and perinuclear cytoplasm. It also has Nissl granules and some free ribosomes. The perikaryon has an axon hillock that gives rise to axon. Axon is a long cylindrical outgrowth which begins from cell body and ends up in branches. These branches have synaptic knobs at their ends which contain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters play an important role in nerve conduction.

Importance of hypothalamus- Hypothalamus found in the diencephalon part of the fore brain, controls metabolism, regulates the body temperature, regulates water balance, sleep etc. It is the center for hunger, thirst, sleep, temperature, fatigue etc. Hypothalamus links the nervous system to endocrine system via the pituitary gland. It sends signals to pituitary glands if any condition needs to be corrected. The hypothalamus itself acts as an endocrine organ by releasing the hormones ADH and oxytocin into circulation at neurohypophysis. It contains autonomic centers which have direct control over the adrenal gland.


Importance of pituitary gland- Pituitary gland is located just under the brain and has 2 lobes-anterior and posterior. This gland communicates directly with the hypothalamus (it is suspended from the hypothalamus) and secretes hormones that act on other glands. Such hormones are known as tropic hormones that act and influence other glands. The pituitary gland is also called the master gland of the body because it produces and secretes various hormones that regulate other glands. It secretes hormones like prolactin, vasopressin, growth hormone, oxytocin, gonadotropin etc.


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