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Bipolar neuron
Bipolar nerve cell from the spinal ganglion of the pike.
Latin neuron bipolare
Gray's subject #183 722
MeSH [1]

A bipolar cell is a type of neuron which has two extensions.

Bipolar cells are specialized sensory neurons for the transmission of special senses. As such, they are part of the sensory pathways for smell, sight, taste, hearing and vestibular functions.

Common examples are the bipolar cell of the retina, the ganglia of the vestibulocochlear nerve,[1] and the extensive use of bipolar cells to transmit efferent (motor) signals to control muscles.

Bipolar cells are also found in the spinal ganglia, when the cells are in an embryonic condition.

Sometimes the extensions, also called "processes", come off from opposite poles of the cell, and the cell then assumes a spindle shape; in other cells both processes emerge at the same point.

In some cases where two fibers are apparently connected with a cell, one of the fibers is really derived from an adjoining nerve cell and is passing to end in a ramification around the ganglion cell, or, again, it may be coiled spirally around the nerve process which is issuing from the cell.

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

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