The Axonal Plasma Membrane

  • George H. DeVries


The organelles and cytoplasm within the axonal process are enclosed by a plasma membrane known as the axonal plasma membrane or axolemma. This membrane may be defined as the surface membrane of the axonal process from the point at which it emerges from the axon hillock of the neuronal perikaryon to the axonal terminal or nerve ending, which forms a synapse on another cell.1 The axonal plasma membrane may or may not be ensheathed by myelin synthesized by the Oligodendroglia (CNS) or Schwann cells (PNS). The axonal plasma membrane is characterized by functional molecular heterogeneity. Therefore, when dealing with this membrane, one must define the state of myelination of the axonal plasma membrane in question and, if myelinated, state the localization of the membrane within the myelinated axon (internodal or nodal).


Schwann Cell Sodium Channel Myelinated Axon Axonal Membrane Unmyelinated Axon 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • George H. DeVries
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryMedical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA

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