Biology

Difference Between Intracellular Fluids and Extracellular Fluids

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Main Difference

The main difference between Intracellular Fluids and Extracellular Fluids is that Intracellular Fluids are the fluids that are present within the cell, whereas Extracellular Fluids are the fluids that are present outside the cell.

Intracellular Fluids vs. Extracellular Fluids

As the name implies, intracellular fluids are the fluids that are found within the cell; these fluids are also recognized as cytosol or cytoplasm. On the other side, the fluids that are located outside the cell are known as extracellular fluids. All the organelles of the cell, i.e., mitochondria, nucleus, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum, etc. are present within intracellular fluid. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid consists of interstitial fluid and plasma.

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So, proteins and amino acids are the main components of intercellular fluid. On the flip side, the extracellular fluid does not contain protein and amino acids. Moreover, intracellular fluid has a low concentration of ions as compared to the extracellular fluid that has a high concentration of ions.

Intracellular fluids possess a low concentration of sodium ions but a high concentration of potassium ions. On the other side, there is a high concentration of sodium and a low concentration of potassium in the extracellular fluid. The intracellular fluid contains about 33% body weight of an organism. On the flip side, the extracellular fluid consists of 27% body weight.

The two-third of the total body water is consists of intracellular fluid. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid combines to make one-third of the total body water. So, intracellular fluid mainly has the components, i.e., proteins and molecules that are important for the functioning of the cell. On the flip side, the extracellular fluid mostly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.

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Comparison Chart

Intracellular FluidsExtracellular Fluids
Fluids that are found within the cell are known as intracellular fluids.Fluids that are located outside the cell are known as extracellular fluids.
Also Known As
It is also recognized as a cytosol or cytoplasm.There is no other name of extracellular fluid.
Consists Of
All the organelles of the cell, i.e., mitochondria, nucleus, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum, etc. are present within this fluid.This type of fluid consists of interstitial fluid and plasma.
Proteins and Amino Acids
Proteins and amino acids are the main components of intercellular fluid.It does not contain protein and amino acids.
Concentration of Ions
The intracellular fluid has a low concentration of ions.The extracellular fluid has a high concentration of ions.
Concentration of Sodium and Potassium Ions
Such fluids possess a low concentration of sodium ions but a high concentration of potassium ions.There is a high concentration of sodium ion and a low level of potassium in this type of fluid.
Volume
It contains about 33% body weight of an organism.It consists of 27% of an organism’s body weight.
Body Water
The two-third of the total body water is consists of intracellular fluid.This fluid combines to make one-third of the total body water.
Function
This fluid mainly has the components, i.e., proteins and molecules that are important for the functioning of a cell.This fluid mostly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.
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What are Intracellular Fluids?

As the name implies, the word intracellular fluid stands for the fluids present within the cell. It is also recognized as a cytosol or cytoplasm. All the organelles of the cell, i.e., mitochondria, nucleus, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum, etc. are present within this fluid. It also includes the building blocks of the cell, i.e., proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, and lipids. These components help in the formation of new parts, repairing old ones and for proper cell functioning.

The intracellular fluid has a low concentration of ions. These fluids possess a low concentration of sodium ions but a high concentration of potassium ions. The intracellular fluid contains about 33% body weight of an organism. The two-third of the total body water is consists of intracellular fluid that combines to make about 7 gallons.

What are Extracellular Fluids?

Extracellular fluids are the fluids that are located outside the cell. This fluid is secreted by the cell itself to maintain a specific environment for its proper functioning. It mostly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.

The extracellular fluid consists of two main components, i.e., interstitial fluid and plasma. These two components combine to make the major portion of this fluid, i.e., 97%. Its other components are cerebrospinal fluid, the synovial fluid present in the joints, lymph, pleural fluid present in the pleural cavities or lungs, peritoneal fluid present in the peritoneal cavity or abdomen, pericardial fluid present around the heart, and the aqueous humor of the eye. Milk is also known as extracellular fluid in mammals.

The extracellular fluid does not contain protein and amino acids, but it has a high concentration of ions. There is a high concentration of sodium ion and a low level of potassium in this type of fluid. The extracellular fluid consists of 27% of an organism’s body weight, and it combines to make one-third of the total body water.

Key Differences

  1. Fluids that are found within the cell are known as intracellular fluids, whereas fluids that are located outside the cell are known as extracellular fluids.
  2. The intracellular fluid is also recognized as cytosol or cytoplasm. On the other hand, there is no other name for extracellular fluid.
  3. All the organelles of the cell, i.e., mitochondria, nucleus, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum, etc. are present within intracellular fluid. Conversely, the extracellular fluid consists of interstitial fluid and plasma.
  4. Protein and amino acids are the main components of intercellular fluid. On the flip side, the extracellular fluid does not contain protein and amino acids.
  5. The intracellular fluid has a low concentration of ions. On the other side, the extracellular fluid has a high concentration of ions.
  6. Intracellular fluids possess a low concentration of sodium ions but a high concentration of potassium ions. On the other hand, there is a high concentration of sodium and low concentration of potassium ions in extracellular fluid.
  7. The extracellular fluid contains about 33% body weight of an organism, whereas the intracellular fluid consists of 27% of an organism’s body weight.
  8. The two-third of the total body water is consists of intracellular fluid. On the flip side, the extracellular fluid combines to make one-third of the total body water.
  9. The intracellular fluid mainly has the components, i.e., proteins and molecules that are important for the functioning of a cell. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid mostly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that the intracellular fluid is the fluid or cytosol present in the cell that has a low concentration of ions but all large concentrations of proteins and amino acids. On the other side, the extracellular fluid is the fluid present outside the cell with a large concentration of ions and without proteins and amino acids.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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