Types of Neuroglia

There are two groups of cells that comprise the human nervous system – neurons and neuroglia

  • Neurons transmit electrical signals around the body, while neuroglia function to provide nourishment and support

There are a number of different neuroglia within the central and peripheral nervous systems

  • These different types of neuroglia play distinct functional roles in supporting the activity of neurons

Neuroglia in the CNS

There are four types of neuroglia found within the central nervous system:

  • Astrocytes – maintain the blood brain barrier and preserve the chemical environment by recycling ions and neurotransmitters
  • Oligodendrocytes – myelinate axons in the central nervous system and provide an overall structural framework
  • Ependymal cells – line ventricles (brain) and central canal (spine) and are involved in the production of cerebrospinal fluid
  • Microglia – remove cell debris, wastes and pathogens via phagocytosis

Neuroglia in the PNS

There are two types of neuroglia found within the peripheral nervous system:

  • Schwann cells – myelinate axons in the peripheral nervous system
  • Satellite cells – regulate nutrient and neurotransmitter levels around neurons in ganglia

Types of Neuroglia