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Interstitial fluid

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Definition

noun

The fluid found in the intercellular spaces composed of water, amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, coenzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, salts, and cellular products. It bathes and surrounds the cells of the body, and provides a means of delivering materials to the cells, intercellular communication, and removal of metabolic waste


Supplement

The extracellular fluid pertains to all body fluid outside the cell(s). It makes up about 26% of the total body water composition in humans. It is composed of blood plasma, interstitial fluid, lymph and transcellular fluid (e.g. cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, aqueous humour, serous fluid, gut fluid, etc.). The interstitial fluid and the blood plasma are the major components of the extracellular fluid.

The interstitial fluid is the fluid that fills the spaces between cells. It is composed of water, amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, coenzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, salts, and cellular products. Its main function is to bathe and surround the cells of the body. It provides a means of delivering materials to the cells, intercellular communication, and removal of metabolic waste.

In terms of composition, the interstitial fluid is similar to the blood plasma since the two continuously exchange substances across capillary walls. The blood plasma, though, is confined within the blood vessels.


Word origin: Latin interstiti(um) ("interstice") + -al

Synonym(s):

  • tissue fluid
  • intercellular fluid

See also: