mucous membrane

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Related to Mucous lining: Mucosal membrane

mucous membrane

a mucus-secreting membrane that lines body cavities or passages that are open to the external environment

Mucous Membrane

 

(also mucosa), a membrane 0.5–4 mm thick that lines the inner surfaces of the digestive and respiratory organs, the urogenital system, the accessory sinuses of the nose, the middle ear, and the excretory ducts of glands. The name “mucous membrane” is derived from mucus, a glandular secretion that keeps the surfaces of mucous membranes moist.

A mucous membrane consists of one or more epithelial layers, a connective-tissue layer, a muscle plate formed by smooth muscle cells, and a tunica submucosa. The tunica submucosa, which is on the external side of the muscle plate, consists of a flexible layer of areolar tissue that separates the mucous membrane from the tissues underneath. Depending on the functions of the particular organ, mucosal epithelium may be multilay-ered and flat or monolayered and cylindrical, prismatic, cubical, or ciliated (in the airways). Its surface may be smooth, plicate, or villous; for example, in the small intestine the mucous membrane forms folds, villi, and crypts.

Located in the mucous membrane and tunica submucosa are glands, terminal nerve branches, blood and lymphatic vessels, and masses of lymphoid tissue, for example, follicles and tonsils. Mucous glands may be unicellular or multicellular. Unicellular mucous glands consist of goblet cells located between surface epithelial cells. Multicellular mucous glands may be simple tubular or alveolar glands, which are found in the stomach and small intestine, or complex mucous glands, which are found in the digestive tract and the airways.

V. V. KUPRIIANOV

mucous membrane

[′myü·kəs ′mem‚brān]
(histology)
The type of membrane lining cavities and canals which have communication with air; it is kept moist by glandular secretions. Also known as tunica mucosa.
References in periodicals archive ?
MOUTH and throat: Inflammation to mucous lining leading to chronic cough and maybe cancer.
In trials with eight volunteers, the researchers tested mockdrugformulations containing a commercially available polymer --either Carbopol-934 or Polycarbophil--that had been shown in animal studies to adhere to the mucous lining of the stomach.
First, it could be delivered orally and second, it could induce a novel antibody response in the mucous lining of various organs.
The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae harmlessly colonizes the mucous linings of throats and noses in most people, only becoming virulent when they leave those comfortable surroundings and enter the middle ears, lungs or bloodstream.
It is characterised by changes to the mucous linings of the mouth and nose and the coronary band of the foot.
In addition to depleting space, microbial action can decompose gypsum to malodorous hydrogen sulfide gas, which at high enough exposures can cause irritation of the mucous linings, headache, dizziness, nausea, convulsions, coma, and death.