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The nasal mucosa lines the
nasal cavity The nasal cavity is a large, air-filled space above and behind the nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which receive and expel air for Respiration (physiology), respiration alongside the mouth. Beh ...

nasal cavity
. It is part of the respiratory mucosa, the
mucous membrane A mucous membrane or mucosa is a biological membrane, membrane that lines various cavities in the body and covers the surface of internal organs. It consists of one or more layers of Epithelium, epithelial cells overlying a layer of loose connect ...
lining the
respiratory tract The respiratory tract is the subdivision of the respiratory system The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically re ...

respiratory tract
. The nasal mucosa is intimately adherent to the
periosteum The periosteum is a membrane Image:Schematic size.jpg, up150px, Schematic of size-based membrane exclusion A membrane is a selective barrier; it allows some things to pass through but stops others. Such things may be molecules, ions, or other sma ...
or
perichondrium The perichondrium (from Greek language, Greek el, περί, peri, around, label=none and el, χόνδρος, chondros, cartilage, label=none) is a layer of dense irregular connective tissue that surrounds the cartilage of developing bone. It consi ...
of the
nasal concha In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any in ...
e. It is continuous with the skin through the
nostril A nostril (or naris , plural ''nares'' ) is either of the two orifices of the nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which receive and expel air for Respiration (physiology), respiration alongside ...
s, and with the
mucous membrane A mucous membrane or mucosa is a biological membrane, membrane that lines various cavities in the body and covers the surface of internal organs. It consists of one or more layers of Epithelium, epithelial cells overlying a layer of loose connect ...
of the nasal part of the
pharynx The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat behind the human mouth, mouth and nasal cavity, and above the esophagus and trachea – the tubes going down to the stomach and the lungs. It is found in vertebrates and invertebrates, thou ...

pharynx
through the
choanae The choanae (singular choana), posterior nasal apertures or internal nostrils are two openings found at the back of the nasal passage between the nasal cavity The nasal cavity is a large, air-filled space above and behind the nose A nose is ...
. From the nasal cavity its continuity with the
conjunctiva The conjunctiva is a tissue (biology), tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the sclera (the white of the human eye, eye). It is composed of non-keratinized, stratified squamous epithelium with goblet cells, stratified columnar ...
may be traced, through the nasolacrimal and
lacrimal duct The lacrimal canaliculi, (sing. canaliculus), are the small channels in each eyelid that drain lacrimal fluid, from the Lacrimal punctum, lacrimal puncta to the lacrimal sac. This forms part of the lacrimal apparatus that drains lacrimal fluid fro ...
s; and with the
frontal Front may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * The Front (1943 film), ''The Front'' (1943 film), a 1943 Soviet drama film * ''The Front'', 1976 film Music *The Front (band), an American rock band signed to Columbia Records and activ ...

frontal
,
ethmoidal The ethmoid sinuses or ethmoid air cells of the ethmoid bone are one of the four paired paranasal sinuses. The cells are variable in both size and number in the labyrinth of ethmoid, lateral mass of each of the ethmoid bones and cannot be palpated d ...
,
sphenoidal The sphenoid bone is an unpaired bone of the neurocranium. It is situated in the middle of the skull towards the front, in front of the basilar part of occipital bone, basilar part of the occipital bone. The sphenoid bone is one of the seven bones ...

sphenoidal
, and
maxillary sinus The pyramid-shaped maxillary sinus (or antrum''This is a disambiguation page for the biological term. For the 2018 horror movie, see Antrum (film)'' In biology, antrum is a general term for a cavity or chamber, which may have specific meaning in ...
es, through the several openings in the
nasal meatus In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of livi ...
es. The mucous membrane is thickest, and most vascular, over the
nasal concha In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any in ...
e. It is also thick over the
nasal septum The nasal septum () separates the left and right airways of the nasal cavity, dividing the two nostrils. It is depressed by the depressor septi nasi muscle. Structure The fleshy external end of the nasal septum is called the columella ...
where increased numbers of goblet cells produce a greater amount of nasal mucus. It is very thin in the meatuses on the floor of the nasal cavities, and in the various
sinuses Paranasal sinuses are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity The nasal cavity is a large, air-filled space above and behind the nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all speci ...

sinuses
. It is one of the most commonly infected tissues in adults and children. Inflammation of this tissue may cause significant impairment of daily activities, with symptoms such as stuffy nose, headache, mouth breathing, etc. Owing to the thickness of the greater part of this
membrane A membrane is a selective barrier; it allows some things to pass through but stops others. Such things may be molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A m ...
, the nasal cavities are much narrower, and the middle and inferior nasal conchæ appear larger and more prominent than in the
skeleton A skeleton is a structural frame that supports an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consu ...

skeleton
; also the various apertures communicating with the meatuses are considerably narrowed.


Structure

The
epithelium Epithelium is one of the four basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as ...
of the nasal mucosa is of two types –
respiratory epithelium The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically relevant entities. Biological organization spans several scales and are d ...
, and
olfactory epithelium The olfactory epithelium is a specialized epithelium, epithelial tissue inside the nasal cavity that is involved in olfaction, smell. In humans, it measures 9 cm2 and lies on the roof of the nasal cavity about 7 cm above and behind the n ...
differing according to its functions. In the respiratory region it is columnar and ciliated. Interspersed among the
columnar cells Epithelium () is one of the four basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume ...
are
goblet A chalice (from 'mug', borrowed from () 'cup') or goblet is a footed cup intended to hold a drink. In religious practice, a chalice is often used for during a or may carry a certain symbolic meaning. Religious use Christian The ''ca ...
or mucin cells, while between their bases are found smaller
pyramidal cell Pyramidal cells, or pyramidal neurons, are a type of multipolar neuron found in areas of the brain including the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. Pyramidal neurons are the primary excitation units of the mammalian prefrontal cort ...
s. Beneath the epithelium and its
basement membrane The basement membrane is a thin, pliable sheet-like type of extracellular matrix In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processe ...
is a fibrous layer infiltrated with lymph corpuscles, so as to form in many parts a diffuse
adenoid In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Mole ...
tissue, and under this a nearly continuous layer of small and larger
gland In animals, a gland is a group of cells in an animal's body that synthesizes substances (such as hormone A hormone (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλά ...

gland
s, some mucous and some serous, the ducts of which open upon the surface. In the olfactory region the mucous membrane is yellowish in color and the
epithelial cell Epithelium is one of the four basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume o ...
s are columnar and non-ciliated; they are of two kinds, supporting cells and
olfactory cells An olfactory receptor neuron (ORN), also called an olfactory sensory neuron (OSN), is a sensory neuron Sensory neurons, also known as afferent neurons, are neuron A neuron or nerve cell is an membrane potential#Cell excitability, electrica ...
. The supporting cells contain oval nuclei, which are situated in the deeper parts of the cells and constitute the zone of oval nuclei; the superficial part of each cell is columnar, and contains granules of yellow
pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compou ...
, while its deep part is prolonged as a delicate process which ramifies and communicates with similar processes from neighboring cells, so as to form a net-work in the mucous membrane. Lying between the deep processes of the supporting cells are a number of bipolar nerve cells, the olfactory cells, each consisting of a small amount of granular
protoplasmProtoplasm (/prəʊtə(ʊ)ˌplaz(ə)m/, plural protoplasms) is the living part of a cell Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or ...

protoplasm
with a large spherical
nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...

nucleus
, and possessing two processes—a superficial one which runs between the columnar epithelial cells, and projects on the surface of the mucous membrane as a fine, hair-like process, the olfactory hair; the other or deep process runs inward, is frequently beaded, and is continued as the
axon An axon (from Greek ἄξων ''áxōn'', axis), or nerve fiber (or nerve fibre: see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects Dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from ...
of an olfactory nerve fiber. Beneath the epithelium, and extending through the thickness of the mucous membrane, is a layer of tubular, often branched, glands, the glands of Bowman, identical in structure with
serous gland Serous glands secrete serous fluid. They contain serous acini, a grouping of serous cells that secrete serous fluid, isotonicity, isotonic with blood plasma, that contains enzymes such as alpha-amylase. Serous glands are most common in the parotid ...
s. The epithelial cells of the
nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which receive and expel air for Respiration (physiology), respiration alongside the mouth. Behind the nose are the olfactory mucosa and the Paranasal sinus, sinuses. Be ...
, fauces and respiratory passages play an important role in the maintenance of an equable temperature, by the moisture with which they keep the surface always slightly lubricated.:


Notes

{{DEFAULTSORT:Mucous Membrane Of Nose Nose