Efferent Nerve Fiber
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Efferent Nerve Fiber
Efferent nerve fiber
Afferent (PSF).png
Latin neurofibrae efferentes
Code TH H2.
TA A14.2.00.018
TH H2.
FMA 76571
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

In the peripheral nervous system, an efferent nerve fiber is the axon of a motor neuron. The nerve fiber is a long process projecting far from the neuron's body that carries nerve impulses away from the central nervous system toward the peripheral effector organs (mainly muscles and glands). A bundle of these fibers is called a motor nerve or an efferent nerve.

The opposite direction of neural activity is afferent conduction,[1][2][3] which carries impulses by way of the afferent nerve fibers of sensory neurons.

In the nervous system there is a "closed loop" system of sensation, decision, and reactions. This process is carried out through the activity of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons.

Motor nerve

Myelinated GS efferent fiber leaving cell body of motor neuron to form a neuromuscular junction

The efferent nerve fibers of motor neurons are involved in muscle control, both skeletal and smooth muscle. The cell body of the motor neuron is connected to a single, long axon and several shorter dendrites projecting out of the cell body itself. This axon then forms a neuromuscular junction with the effectors. The cell body of the motor neuron is satellite-shaped. The motor neuron is present in the grey matter of the spinal cord and medulla oblongata, and forms an electrochemical pathway to the effector organ or muscle. Besides motor nerves, there are efferent sensory nerves that often serve to adjust the sensitivity of the signal relayed by the afferent sensory nerve.[]


There are three types of efferent fibers: general somatic efferent fibers (GSE), general visceral efferent fibers (GVE) and special visceral efferent fibers (SVE).

Subtypes of these fibers include (GSE): alpha motor neurons (?) - these target extrafusal muscle fibers, and gamma motor neurons (?) that target intrafusal muscle fibers. Beta motor neurons target both types of muscle fiber and there are two types known as static and dynamic.

Etymology and mnemonics

Both afferent and efferent come from French, evolved from Latin (the basis of many terms in medicine and biology) for the terms, respectively, ad ferens (Latin verb ferre: carry), meaning carrying into, and ex ferens, meaning carrying away (ad literally means to, and e = ex means from). Ad and ex give an easy mnemonic device for remembering the relationship between afferent and efferent: afferent connection arrives and an efferent connection exits.[4]

Afferent and efferent are connected to affect and effect through their common Latin roots: Afferent nerves affect the subject, whereas efferent nerves allow the subject to effect change.


  1. ^ Mader S. S. (2000): Human biology. McGraw-Hill, New York, ISBN 0-07-290584-0; ISBN 0-07-117940-2.
  2. ^ Hall J. E., Guyton A. C. (2006): Textbook of medical physiology, 11th edition. Elsevier Saunders, St. Louis, Mo, ISBN 0-7216-0240-1.
  3. ^ Warrell D. A., Cox T. M., Firth J. D. (2010): The Oxford Textbook of Medicine Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine. (5th ed.). Oxford University Press
  4. ^ MedicalMnemonics.com: 3502 3463 367 115

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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