Neuroglial Cells

Neuroglial cells are sometimes simply called “glia” which in Greek, means “glue.”  These cells support the neurons by providing insulation, supplying nutrients, and removing dangerous pathogens.   Each cell of the glia can be identified on a diagram by examining the general location, attachment to other stuctures and its shape.

Ependymal cells – these cells line create a membrane around the brain and spinal cord.  On diagrams, they are usually shown packed in a row.

Astrocytes –  these cells connect to blood vessels and supply nutrients.  On diagrams, look for star-shaped cells that are attached to capillaries

Oligodendrocytes –  these cells create the myelin sheaths that insulate the axon of the neuron.  To locate these cells, find the myelin and the cells will be attached to those structures.

Microglial cells – these cells destroy pathogens and remove cellular debris.  They are often pictured as small cells, and not usually shown attached to other microglial cells.

neuroglia cells

Image Credit:  Wikipedia