Axonal Transport

  • Anthony BrownEmail author
Reference work entry


Axons are long slender cylindrical projections of neurons that enable these cells to communicate directly with other cells in the body over long distances, up to a meter or more in large animals. Remarkably, however, most axonal components originate in the nerve cell body, at one end of the axon, and must be shipped out along the axon by mechanisms of intracellular motility. In addition, signals from the axon and its environment must be conveyed back to the nerve cell body to modulate the nature and composition of the outbound traffic. The outward movement from the cell body toward the axon tip is called anterograde transport and the movement in the opposite direction, back toward the cell body, is called retrograde transport. This bidirectional transport, known collectively as axonal transport, is not fundamentally different from the pathways of macromolecular and membrane traffic found in other parts of the neuron, or indeed in any eukaryotic cell, but it is unique for the volume and scale of the traffic required to maintain these long processes.


Axonal Transport Retrograde Transport Nerve Cell Body Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia Axon Initial Segment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Adenosine Diphosphate


Adenosine Triphosphate


Extracellular Signal Regulated Kinase


Guanosine Diphosphate


Green Fluorescent Protein


Guanosine Triphosphate


c-Jun N-Terminal Kinase


Messenger RNA


Nerve Growth Factor


Nuclear Localization Signal


Ribonucleic Acid


Ribonucleoprotein Particle


Slow Component a


Slow Component b


Tyrosine Receptor Kinase


Zipcode-Binding Protein

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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