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Recent findings indicate that glial cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, serve as important resident immune cells within the central nervous system.
The vertebrate nervous system can also be divided into areas called grey matter ("gray matter" in American spelling) and white matter.
The neurons that give rise to nerves do not lie entirely within the nerves themselves—their cell bodies reside within the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral ganglia Glial cells (named from the Greek for "glue") are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin, and participate in signal transmission in the nervous system.
In the human brain, it is estimated that the total number of glia roughly equals the number of neurons, although the proportions vary in different brain areas.
A protoplasmic fiber runs from the cell body and branches profusely, with some parts transmitting signals and other parts receiving signals.
Thus, most parts of the insect brain have passive cell bodies arranged around the periphery, while the neural signal processing takes place in a tangle of protoplasmic fibers called neuropil, in the interior.
Immediately behind the brain is the subesophageal ganglion, which is composed of three pairs of fused ganglia.
In vertebrate species it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body.
Nerves that transmit signals from the brain are called motor or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit information from the body to the CNS are called sensory or afferent.
Most nerves serve both functions and are called mixed nerves.
The PNS is divided into a) somatic and b) autonomic nervous system, and c) the enteric nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is further subdivided into the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.
It controls the mouthparts, the salivary glands and certain muscles.