Are there synapses between the nodes of Ranvier?

1 Answer
May 3, 2016



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Neurons are elongated, highly specialized cells that have evolved to conduct electrical signals. They have a polarity, in that on one end there is a long axon (to form distant connections with other neurons or muscles) and on another end there is the cell body with long processes known as dendrites.

A synapse is the place where two neurons communicate with each other. Here, the axonal end of one neuron lies in close proximity to dendrites of another neuron, and information is exchanged through vesicles containing neurotransmitters.

Neurons are insulated by a structure known as the Myelin sheath. However, the myelin sheath is not continuous - there are gaps, and these are the nodes of Ranvier. At these nodes, electrical signals 'jump' making their transmission much faster.

As you can clearly see, a synapse is nothing like a node of Ranvier. They are two completely different structures.