Medical Definition of Axon

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Axon: A long fiber of a nerve cell (a neuron) that acts somewhat like a fiber-optic cable carrying outgoing (efferent) messages.

The neuron sends electrical impulses from its cell body through the axon to target cells. Each nerve cell has one axon. An axon can be over 20 cm (a foot) in length, which for the human body is remarkably long.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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