House of Mind

"Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind" - Jeffrey Eugenides

  • 27th April
    2011
  • 27
Betz cells are among the largest neurons (specifically, motorneurons) in the brain. They are pyramidal cells, also called projection neurons, and they are mostly located in layer 5 of the primary motor cortex (M1) (although pyramidal cells are also found in other cortical areas and the hippocampus. Like other pyramidal cells, Betz cells have a triangular-shaped soma (cell body) and are multipolar- multiple dendrites and a single axon. In humans, the soma of a Betz cells can be up to 100 micrometers. 
Betz cells function as excitatory projection neurons (releasing glutamate) that project to the specific areas of the spinal cord (like the anterior horn) and form synapses to target muscles that control movement. Because these cells project to the spinal cord from the cortex, they have some of the longest axons in the human body!
Sources:
Pyramidal Cell Review at AntiBodyBeyond
Rivara, et al. 2003. Stereologic Characterization and Spatial Distribution Patterns of Betz Cells in the Human Primary Motor Cortex. The Anatomical Record. 

Betz cells are among the largest neurons (specifically, motorneurons) in the brain. They are pyramidal cells, also called projection neurons, and they are mostly located in layer 5 of the primary motor cortex (M1) (although pyramidal cells are also found in other cortical areas and the hippocampus. Like other pyramidal cells, Betz cells have a triangular-shaped soma (cell body) and are multipolar- multiple dendrites and a single axon. In humans, the soma of a Betz cells can be up to 100 micrometers. 

Betz cells function as excitatory projection neurons (releasing glutamate) that project to the specific areas of the spinal cord (like the anterior horn) and form synapses to target muscles that control movement. Because these cells project to the spinal cord from the cortex, they have some of the longest axons in the human body!

Sources:

Pyramidal Cell Review at AntiBodyBeyond

Rivara, et al. 2003. Stereologic Characterization and Spatial Distribution Patterns of Betz Cells in the Human Primary Motor Cortex. The Anatomical Record

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    I actually saw this in a slide for neuroscience class
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