Grey matter

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For other uses, see Grey matter (disambiguation).
Grey matter
Spinal nerve.svg
The formation of the spinal nerve from the dorsal and ventral roots. (Grey matter labeled at center right.)
Grey matter and white matter - very high mag.jpg
Micrograph showing grey matter, with the characteristic neuronal cell bodies (dark shade of pink), and white matter with its characteristic fine meshwork-like appearance (left of image - lighter shade of pink). HPS stain.
Details
Identifiers
Latin Substantia grisea
TA A14.1.00.002
FMA 67242
Anatomical terminology

Grey matter (or gray matter) is a major component of the central nervous system, consisting of neuronal cell bodies, neuropil (dendrites and myelinated as well as unmyelinated axons), glial cells (astroglia and oligodendrocytes), synapses, and capillaries. Grey matter is distinguished from white matter, in that it contains numerous cell bodies and relatively few myelinated axons, while white matter contains relatively very few cell bodies and is composed chiefly of long-range myelinated axon tracts.[1] The colour difference arises mainly from the whiteness of myelin. In living tissue, grey matter actually has a very light grey colour with yellowish or pinkish hues, which come from capillary blood vessels and neuronal cell bodies.[2]

Structure[edit]

Grey matter refers to unmyelinated neurons and other cells of the central nervous system. It is present in the brain, brainstem and cerebellum, and present throughout the spinal cord.

Grey matter is distributed at the surface of the cerebral hemispheres (cerebral cortex) and of the cerebellum (cerebellar cortex), as well as in the depths of the cerebrum (thalamus; hypothalamus; subthalamus, basal gangliaputamen, globus pallidus, nucleus accumbens; septal nuclei), cerebellar (deep cerebellar nuclei – dentate nucleus, globose nucleus, emboliform nucleus, fastigial nucleus), brainstem (substantia nigra, red nucleus, olivary nuclei, cranial nerve nuclei).

Grey matter in the spinal cord is known as the grey column which travels down the spinal cord distributed in three grey columns that are presented in an "H" shape. The forward-facing column is the anterior grey column, the rear-facing one is the posterior grey column and the interlinking one is the lateral grey column. The grey matter on the left and right side is connected by the gray commissure. The grey matter in the spinal cord consists of interneurons, as well as cell bodies.

Grey matter undergoes development and growth throughout childhood and adolescence.[3]

Function[edit]

Grey matter contains most of the brain's neuronal cell bodies. The grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control, and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control.[4]

The grey matter in the spinal cord is split into three grey columns:

The grey matter of the spinal cord can be divided into different layers, called Rexed laminae. These describe, in general, the purpose of the cells within the grey matter of the spinal cord at a particular location.

Clinical significance[edit]

High alcohol consumption has been correlated with significant reductions in grey matter volume.[5][6]

History[edit]

Etymology[edit]

In the current edition[7] of the official Latin nomenclature, Terminologia Anatomica, substantia grisea is used for English grey matter. The adjective grisea for grey is however not attested in classical Latin.[8] The adjective grisea is derived from the French word for grey, gris.[8] Alternative designations like substantia cana [9] and substantia cinerea [10] are being used alternatively. The adjective cana, attested in classical Latin,[11] can mean grey,[8] or greyish white.[12] The classical Latin cinerea means ash-coloured.[11]

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Purves, Dale; George J. Augustine; David Fitzpatrick; William C. Hall; Anthony-Samuel LaMantia; James O. McNamara; Leonard E. White (2008). Neuroscience (4th ed.). Sinauer Associates. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-87893-697-7. 
  2. ^ Kolb & Whishaw: Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology (2003) page 49
  3. ^ Sowell, E. R.; Thompson, P. M.; Tessner, K. D.; Toga, A. W. (2001). "Mapping continued brain growth and gray matter density reduction in dorsal frontal cortex: Inverse relationships during postadolescent brain maturation". The Journal of Neuroscience. 21 (22): 8819–29. PMID 11698594. 
  4. ^ Miller, A. K. H.; Alston, R. L.; Corsellis, J. A. N. (1980). "Variation with Age in the Volumes of Grey and White Matter in the Cerebral Hemispheres of Man: Measurements with an Image Analyser". Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology. 6 (2): 119–32. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2990.1980.tb00283.x. PMID 7374914. 
  5. ^ Yang, Xun; Tian, Fangfang; Zhang, Handi; Zeng, Jianguang; Chen, Taolin; Wang, Song; Jia, Zhiyun; Gong, Qiyong (2016). "Cortical and subcortical gray matter shrinkage in alcohol-use disorders: A voxel-based meta-analysis". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 66: 92–103. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.034. PMID 27108216. 
  6. ^ Xiao, Peirong; Dai, Zhenyu; Zhong, Jianguo; Zhu, Yingling; Shi, Haicun; Pan, Pinglei (2015). "Regional gray matter deficits in alcohol dependence: A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies". Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 153: 22–8. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.05.030. PMID 26072220. 
  7. ^ Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT) (1998). Terminologia Anatomica. Stuttgart: Thieme
  8. ^ a b c Triepel, H. (1910). Die anatomischen Namen. Ihre Ableitung und Aussprache. Mit einem Anhang: Biographische Notizen.(Dritte Auflage). Wiesbaden: Verlag J.F. Bergmann.
  9. ^ Triepel, H. (1910). Nomina Anatomica. Mit Unterstützung von Fachphilologen. Wiesbaden: Verlag J.F. Bergmann.
  10. ^ Schreger, C.H.Th.(1805). Synonymia anatomica. Synonymik der anatomischen Nomenclatur. Fürth: im Bureau für Literatur.
  11. ^ a b Lewis, C.T. & Short, C. (1879). A Latin dictionary founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  12. ^ Stearn, W.T. (1983). Botanical Latin. History, grammar, syntax, terminology and vocabulary. (3rd edition). Newton Abbot London: David Charles.

External links[edit]