Figure 110. Neuron and neuroglia.
115. INTERCELLULAR SUBSTANCE
a. General. Intercellular substance, found between living cells, consists of
nonliving material produced by living cells. The intercellular material may be considered
a type of building material that gives form to various parts of the body, as well as to the
body as a whole. Intercellular substance, which is found predominantly in connective
tissue, is either fibrous or amorphous.
b. Functions. The following are functions performed by intercellular substance:
(1) Strength and support. Intercellular substance provides strength and
support for the tissues. This function is performed mostly by the fibrous types of
intercellular substance. Amorphous substance in the form of very stiff gels also helps
add strength and support to tissues.
(2) Medium for tissue fluid. Intercellular substance is frequently found
between capillaries and the cells that are nourished by these capillaries. For food
substances to be transferred from the capillaries to the cells, it is necessary that this
food substance pass through the intercellular substance. It is, therefore, an important
function of the intercellular substance to provide a medium through which materials may
be transferred from capillaries to the cells and back again.