extracellular matrix

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extracellular matrix

the aggregate of proteins secreted by cells.

extracellular matrix

a substance containing collagen, elastin, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and fluid, produced by cells and in which the cells are embedded. The matrix secreted by chondroblasts, for example, is responsible for the properties of cartilage.

extracellular matrix

Non-living material secreted by cells that fills spaces between the cells in a tissue, protecting them and helping to hold them together. The extracellular matrix may be semifluid or rigidly solid and hard as in bone. It is composed mainly of protein and includes collagens, elastin, reticulin, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, fibronectin, laminins and osteopontin.

extracellular matrix (ECM)


extracellular matrix (eksˈ·tr·selˑ·y·ler māˑ·triks),

n substance produced by cells and secreted into the environment in which the cells are embedded; contains collagen, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and fluid; can influence the behavior of the cells. Also called
ECM. See also connective tissue.


situated or occurring outside a cell or cells.

extracellular constituents
all of the constituents of the body outside the cells; include water, electrolytes, protein, glucose, enzymes, hormones.
extracellular fluid
all of the body fluid lying outside the cells. Includes intravascular fluid or plasma and the interstitial fluid. That part of the extracellular fluid that is in special cavities which have special characteristics, e.g. synovial fluid, urine, aqueous humor of eye, are called transcellular fluids.
extracellular matrix
the network of proteins and carbohydrates that surround a cell or fill the intercellular spaces.
extracellular space
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