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n. The homeostatic regulation of osmotic pressure in the body in order to maintain a constant water content


Osmoregulation is the active regulation of the osmotic pressure of an organism's body fluids to maintain the homeostasis of the organism's water content; that is, it maintains the fluid balance and the concentration of electrolytes ( salts in solution) to keep the fluids from becoming too diluted or too concentrated. Osmotic pressure is a measure of the tendency of water to move into one solution from another by osmosis. The higher the osmotic pressure of a solution, the more water tends to move into it. Pressure must be exerted on the hypertonic side of a selectively permeable membrane to prevent diffusion of water by osmosis from the side containing pure water.

Organisms in aquatic and terrestrial environments must maintain the right concentration of solutes and amount of water in their body fluids; this involves excretion (getting rid of metabolic nitrogenous wastes and other substances such as hormones that would be toxic if allowed to accumulate in the blood) through organs such as the skin and the kidneys.