Difference Between Intracellular Fluids and Extracellular Fluids

Main difference

The main difference between intracellular fluids and extracellular fluids is that intracellular fluids are the fluids that are present inside the cell, while the extracellular fluids are the fluids that are present outside the cell.

Intracellular fluids versus extracellular fluids

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

So, proteins and amino acids are the main components of the intercellular fluid. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid does not contain proteins or amino acids. Also, intracellular fluid has a low ion concentration compared to extracellular fluid which has a high ion concentration.

Intracellular fluids have 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 a low concentration of potassium in the extracellular fluid. Intracellular fluid contains approximately 33% of the body weight of an organism. On the other hand, extracellular fluid consists of 27% of body weight.

Two-thirds of total body water is made up of intracellular fluid. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid combines to produce one third of the total body water. So, the intracellular fluid mainly has the components, that is, proteins and molecules that are important for the functioning of the cell. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid mainly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.

Comparative chart
Intracellular fluids Extracellular fluids
The fluids found within the cell are known as intracellular fluids. Fluids that are outside the cell are known as extracellular fluids.
Also know as
It is also recognized as a cytosol or cytoplasm. There is no other name for extracellular fluid.
Consists in
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 the intercellular fluid. It does not contain proteins or amino acids.
Ion concentration
Intracellular fluid has a low ion concentration. The extracellular fluid has a high concentration of ions.
Sodium and potassium ion concentration
Such fluids have a low concentration of sodium ions but a high concentration of potassium ions. There is a high concentration of sodium ions and a low level of potassium in this type of liquid.
Volume
It contains approximately 33% of the body weight of an organism. It consists of 27% of the body weight of an organism.
Body water
Two-thirds of total body water is made up of intracellular fluid. This fluid combines to produce one third of the total body water.
Function
This fluid mainly has the components, that is, proteins and molecules that are important for the functioning of a cell. This fluid mainly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.

What are intracellular fluids ?

As the name implies, the word intracellular fluid represents 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, that is, proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, and lipids. These components help in the formation of new parts, repairing the old ones and for the correct cell function.

Intracellular fluid has a low ion concentration. These fluids have a low concentration of sodium ions but a high concentration of potassium ions. Intracellular fluid contains approximately 33% of the body weight of an organism. Two-thirds of total body water is made up of intracellular fluid that combines to produce approximately 7 gallons.

What are extracellular fluids?

Extracellular fluids are those that are outside the cell. This liquid is secreted by the cell itself to maintain a specific environment for its proper functioning. Mostly, it has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.

Extracellular fluid consists of two main components, that is, interstitial fluid and plasma. These two components combine to form the majority of this fluid, that is, 97%. Its other components are the cerebrospinal fluid, the synovial fluid present in the joints, the lymph, the pleural fluid present in the pleural cavities or lungs, the peritoneal fluid present in the peritoneal cavity or the abdomen, the 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 proteins or amino acids, but it has a high concentration of ions. There is a high concentration of sodium ions and a low level of potassium in this type of liquid. Extracellular fluid consists of 27% of an organism’s body weight and combines to produce one-third of total body water.

Key differences

  1. The fluids that are inside the cell are known as intracellular fluids, while the fluids that are outside the cell are known as extracellular fluids.
  2. Intracellular fluid is also recognized as a cytosol or cytoplasm. On the other hand, there is no other name for extracellular fluid.
  3. All organelles of the cell, i.e. mitochondria, nucleus, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum, etc., are present within the intracellular fluid. In contrast, extracellular fluid consists of interstitial fluid and plasma.
  4. Proteins and amino acids are the main components of the intercellular fluid. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid does not contain proteins or amino acids.
  5. Intracellular fluid has a low ion concentration. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid has a high concentration of ions.
  6. Intracellular fluids have 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 a low concentration of potassium ions in the extracellular fluid.
  7. Extracellular fluid contains approximately 33% of the body weight of an organism, while intracellular fluid consists of 27% of the body weight of an organism.
  8. Two-thirds of total body water is made up of intracellular fluid. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid combines to produce one third of the total body water.
  9. The intracellular fluid mainly has the components, that is, proteins and molecules that are important for the functioning of a cell. On the other hand, the extracellular fluid mainly has the signal molecules to stimulate the cell for a specific function.
Final Thought

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

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