Infobox Anatomy
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Caption = The mechanism of the reflex arc. (Relay neuron labeled at right center. Diagram discusses the PNS definition.)

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MeshName = Interneurons
MeshNumber = A08.663.358
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DorlandsSuf = 12455676
An interneuron (also called association neuron, local circuit neuron or relay neuron) is a neuron which connects afferent neurons and efferent neurons in neural pathways. Like motor neurons, interneuron cell bodies are always located in the central nervous system (CNS).


When contrasted with the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the neurons of the central nervous system, including the brain, are all interneurons. However, in the CNS, the term interneuron is used for small, locally projecting neurons (in contrast to larger projection neurons with long-distance connections). CNS interneurons are typically inhibitory, and use the neurotransmitter GABA or glycine. However, excitatory interneurons using glutamate also exist, as do interneurons releasing neuromodulators like acetylcholine. A human brain contains about 100 billion interneurons.

Examples of interneurons include the inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex which selectively inhibit sections of the thalamus based on synaptic input both from other parts of the neocortex and from the thalamus itself. This is theorized to help focus higher attention on relevant sensory input and help block out behaviorally irrelevant or unchanging input, such as the sensation of the backs of your thighs on a chair. The neurophysiological measure short-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI) is believed to be mediated by these inhibitory interneurons.Fact|date=February 2008

In 2008, a nomenclature for the features of GABAergic cortical interneurons was proposed, called "Petilla terminology".cite journal |author=Ascoli GA, Alonso-Nanclares L, Anderson SA, "et al" |title=Petilla terminology: nomenclature of features of GABAergic interneurons of the cerebral cortex |journal=Nat. Rev. Neurosci. |volume=9 |issue=7 |pages=557–68 |year=2008 |month=July |pmid=18568015 |doi=10.1038/nrn2402 |url=]

Spinal interneurons

  • 1a Inhibitory Neuron: Found in Lamina VII. Responsible for inhibiting antagonist motor neuron. 1a spindle afferents activate 1a inhibitory neuron.

  • 1b Inhibitory Neuron: Found in Lamina V, VI, VII. 1b afferent or Golgi tendon organ activates it.

    Cortical interneurons

  • Parvalbumin-containing interneurons
  • CCK-containing interneurons
  • VIP-containing interneurons

    Cerebellar interneurons

  • Molecular layer interneurons (basket cells, stellate cells)
  • Golgi cells =0=
  • Granule cells


    External links


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    Look at other dictionaries:

    • interneuron — 1939, from internuncial + NEURON (Cf. neuron) …   Etymology dictionary

    • interneuron — interneùrōn m <G mn interneuróna> DEFINICIJA anat. živčana stanica koja se kao modulator prijenosa impulsa nalazi između drugih dviju stanica ETIMOLOGIJA inter 1 + v. neuron …   Hrvatski jezični portal

    • interneuron — [in΄tər no͞o′rän΄, in΄tərnyo͞o′rän΄; in΄tərnoor′än΄, in΄tərnyoor′än΄] n. any of various nerve cells connecting sensory and motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord …   English World dictionary

    • interneuron — noun Date: 1939 a neuron that conveys impulses from one neuron to another • interneuronal adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

    • Interneuron — Als Interneurone, auch Schaltneurone oder Zwischenneurone, werden Nervenzellen bezeichnet, die mit allen ihren Endknöpfchen (Fortsätzen) in einem konkret definierten Bereich des Zentralnervensystems (ZNS) liegen und dort zwischen zwei oder mehr… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

    • interneuron — n. [L. inter, between; Gr. neuron, nerve] Internuncial neuron or association neuron …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

    • interneuron — interneuronal /in teuhr noor euh nl, nyoor , noo rohn l, nyoo /, adj. /in teuhr noor on, nyoor /, n. Cell Biol. any neuron having its cell body, axon, and dendrites entirely within the central nervous system, especially one that conveys impulses… …   Universalium

    • interneuron — noun Any neuron that communicates only with other neurons …   Wiktionary

    • interneuron — in·ter·neu·ron .int ər n(y)ü .rän, n(y)u̇(ə)r .än or Brit in·ter·neu·rone nyu̇r ōn n a neuron that conveys impulses from one neuron to another called also association neuron, associative neuron …   Medical dictionary

    • interneuron — n. intermediate nerve cell, nerve cell which only connects to other nerve cells (Anatomy) …   English contemporary dictionary

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