mucous membrane

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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 ?
On the other hand, intestines from the rats in the model group displayed coarsened epithelium, substantial dilation, thinning of intestinal walls, hyperemia, edema, friable mucus membranes with hemorrhage, inflammatory exudates, and their intestinal vasculature was disorganized.
It is astringent and binding, drying up excess fluid and toning muscle and mucus membranes.
Such horses show a fluctuating low fever, anemia, weight loss, increased weakness, poor appetite, jaundice, staggering or paralysis, hemorrhages of the mucus membranes and frequent urination.
These medications cause the mucus membranes in the body to dry up and actually cause you to sweat less," warns clinical toxicologist Greene Shepherd, director of the North Texas Poison Center.
It works directly on the mucus membranes and hair-like cilia (think of these as nasal sweepers) that trap and move foreign particles and irritants to the back of the nose where they are swallowed.
Fixed drug eruptions are blistering or erosive allergic reactions that may appear on hair-bearing skin, mucus membranes, or modified mucus membranes.
STIs, including HIV, can pass through the mucus membranes of both the vagina and the penis,' warns Marianne.
Ingredients found in natural allergy remedies reduce the histamine response, calming inflammation and drying up mucus membranes, says Winston.
Up to 40% of your body's heat loss occurs from the head due to a large blood supply, extra surface area, and the mucus membranes of the nose and mouth.
Too little means the mucus membranes dry out and make people more susceptible to viruses.
Nasalflu forms a barrier of protection by building up antibodies in the mucus membranes of the nose, which is the main point of entry for the virus that attacks some 300,000 people in Switzerland annually.