mucous membrane

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Related to Mucosal tissue: Mucous lining

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.


mucous membrane

[′myü·kəs ′mem‚brān]
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 ?
Oral L-arginine application improved the disease activity index and mucosal tissue architecture, reduced leukocyte infiltration, and prevented proinflammatory cytokine production.
Because many of these same processes may also occur in rectal and genital mucosal tissues, HIV and alcohol use may interact similarly to increase susceptibility to HIV infection and early replication following sexual transmission, a proposition we examine below.
Effects of GABA on the structure and development of small intestinal mucosal tissue of Wenchang chicken under heat stress: After treatment of GABA various small intestinal segments showed relatively intact mucosal tissue structure with discrete layers.
The results of this study suggest that doses of 72 Gy given in 4-Gy fractions may be used safely, with no clinically significant dose-related acute or chronic radiation effects, on cutaneous or mucosal tissue in Indian ring-necked parakeets.
Two patients (patients 4 and 6) experienced a mild mucositis (WHO mucositis score of 1) and showed the greatest increase of [alpha]-defensins over time, and those with ulcerative mucositis (WHO mucositis score of 2 or 3) showed less change, suggesting that [alpha]-defensins may play a role in preventing the breakdown of mucosal tissue.
These results suggest that IND causes an increase of neutrophil infiltration into gastric mucosal tissue by increasing MPx and iNOS activities.
The company says the oral formulation of BDP is delivered to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for topical treatment of inflammation within the mucosal tissue.
There is a review of prenatal tooth development, normal mucosal tissue, bone, muscle, salivary glands, and the nerve supply to the orofacial region.
THESE occur when there is an erosion of the mucosal tissue of the distal part of the oesophagus, stomach or proximal duodenum (first part of the small intestine).
Because the vaccine directly contacts the lining of the vagina, the researchers suggest that it elicits antibodies that target mucosal tissue there and repel microbes.
Bum victims or those with severe wounds will be able to avail themselves of a gene-based protein capable of regenerating damaged skin and mucosal tissue.
This system adheres to the mucosal tissue of the mouth, and allows the rapid or controlled delivery of medication through the tissue as it dissolves away.