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Animal Osmoregulation$
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Timothy J. Bradley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198569961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198569961.001.0001

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Volume and osmotic regulation Volume and osmotic regulation

Volume and osmotic regulation Volume and osmotic regulation

(p.156) 11 Volume and osmotic regulation
Animal Osmoregulation

Timothy J. Bradley

Oxford University Press

The first step in maintaining homeostasis involves sensing any changes in the environment and in the internal physiological condition. All cells are able to sense changes in cytoplasmic volume. Increased cell volume can be countered through the transport of solutes out of the cell. The movement of solutes drives osmotic water movement and thus cell volume reduction. Cell shrinkage can be countered through the uptake of solutes or through the production of small osmotically active molecules from large organic molecules. Sensory determination of osmotic concentration is usually indirect. Changes in cell volume can be used by cells such as neurons to determine changes in osmotic concentration in the surrounding fluids. In many organisms, sodium ions are the principal cations in the blood and changes in sodium concentration parallel changes in blood volume. Examples of homeostatic regulation of volume and osmotic concentration are provided for the best-studied systems, namely insects and mammals.

Keywords:   volume regulation, osmotic regulation, osmotic sensing, homeostasis, osmolytes

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