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What is Cytoplasm?

Meaning of Cytoplasm

The word cytoplasm was introduced by Rudolf von Kölliker in 1862 and originates from the terms kytos (Greek) – cell and plassos (Greek) – mold, which gives shape, that is, it is what gives shape to the cell.

The cytoplasm, in eukaryotic beings, is the portion that exists between the nucleus and the cell membrane and is made up of the cytosol (also called haloplasm or fundamental cytoplasm), the cytoskeleton and the cytoplasmic organelles inserted in it (mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, peroxisomes, vacuoles, Golgi complex), while in prokaryotes it is the entire content bounded by the cell membrane.

In animal cells, the cytoplasm represents little more than half of the total volume of the cell and it is there where most of the intermediate cellular metabolism takes place, that is, the numerous reactions by which some small molecules are degraded and others are synthesized. such as glycolysis and protein synthesis, respectively.

Compared to the animal cell, the cytoplasm of the plant cell has a smaller volume, because a large part of the cell content is occupied by the vacuole.

The cytoplasm can be divided into two portions, an outermost portion known as the ectoplasm and has a slimier appearance when compared to the innermost portion, the endoplasm.

The cytoplasm also has the functions of glycogen and lipid storage, transport and transport of macromolecules.

The term cytosol was used for the first time by HA Lardy in 1965 and initially referred to the liquid obtained after lysis, and the removal of all insoluble components through ultracentrifugation of the cells, it is currently used to refer to the sin however in the liquid phase of intact cells, excluding portions occupied by organelles.

The cytosol or hyaloplasm is an amorphous gelatinous matrix made up of two phases, a dispersed phase represented by water and another dispersed phase represented by proteins that form particles called micelles, there are also dissolved ions and, to a lesser extent, lipids and simple carbohydrates.

When the micelles are disorganized, giving the cytoplasm a liquid aspect, we say that the cytosol is in the solar phase and when there is an organization of the micelles that gives the cytosol a viscous aspect, we call it the gel phase.

Depending on the type of cell analyzed, the cytoplasm can acquire different organizations and can assume significant differences in its apical and basal part.

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