The extracellular environment surrounding cells consists of a fluid compartment, in which molecules are dissolved, and a matrix of polysaccharides and proteins that give form to the tissues. Interactions between the intracellular and extracellular environment occur across the plasma membrane.
The extracellular environment includes all constituents of the body located outside of the cells. The cells of our body must receive nourishment from, and release their waste products into, the extracellular environment. Further, the different cells of a tissue, the cells of different tissues within an organ, and the cells of different organs interact with each other through chemical regulators secreted into the extracellular environment.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.