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What are they?
Glial cells make up 90% of the nervous system, creating and maintaining an environment for the neurones to function.
What types are there?
There are many types, the key ones being:
- Astrocytes - starfish-shaped cells which have long processes which wrap around capillaries in the brain to form the blood brain barrier
- Oligodendrocytes - the myelinating cells in the CNS which wrap around 3-50 adjacent axons, insulating them from each other and allowing higher speeds of action potential conduction
- Ependymal cells - form the lining of the ventricles. In the lateral ventricles they form the choroid plexus which produces CSF.
- Microglia - the macrophages of the brain
- Schwann cells - the myelinating cells in the PNS which wrap around one axons, insulating it and allowing higher speeds of action potential conduction