Organelles and Neuromuscular Activity

  • Robert A. Reid
  • Rachel M. Leech
Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)


IN THE FOREGOING CHAPTERS ORGANELLES HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED MAINLY IN terms of their intracellular roles. However, some organelles have functions that reach beyond the boundaries of the cell. In particular, it seems that in the evolution of multicellular organisms, the ER and Golgi systems have extended their spheres of influence and acquired specialized functions that are vital to the coordination of the organism. This is shown in the production and secretion of insulin via the ER-Golgi-vesicle system of the cells of the pancreas; similarly thyroxine, oxytocin and other polypeptide hormones that regulate the physiology of organs and organisms are secreted from their sites of synthesis by vesicles that appear to be a simple extension of the primitive function of ER and Golgi bodies, i.e. to deliver membrane material to the cell surface. Rapid internal communication and responsive reflex action are brought about by the neuromuscular system, the activity of which is also dependent on specialized cell organelles that are associated with ER and Golgi bodies, namely the synaptic vesicles of neurones and the sarcoplasmic reticulum of muscle. These organelles, together with the chromaffin granules of adrenal medulla, are intrinsically interesting, central to an understanding of neurophysiology, and demonstrate specialization of organelles in the service of communication between tissues.


Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Synaptic Vesicle Adrenal Medulla Golgi Body Presynaptic Membrane 
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Copyright information

© R. A. Reid and R. M. Leech 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Reid
    • 1
  • Rachel M. Leech
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkEngland

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