The mucous membrane is the membrane that lines the body cavity and the canals, mainly the respiratory, digestive, and urogenital tract. It lines many tracts and structures of the human body, like mouth, nose, eyelids, trachea, and lungs, stomach, intestine, and the ureters, urethra, and the urinary bladder are the location of mucous membrane.
Mucous membrane meaning- It is an epithelial tissue that secretes mucus, and lines many body cavities and tubular organs including the gut and respiratory passages.
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The structure of the mucous membrane varies, but all of them have a surface layer of epithelial cells over a deeper layer of connective tissue and they consist of the epithelial layer of either stratified squamous epithelium or simple columnar epithelium. The mentioned epithelium is notably tough and it is able to endure abrasion and also other forms of wear that are associated with exposure to external factors like food particles. They also contain some of the cells that are specially adapted for absorption and secretion. The term mucous membrane comes from the fact that the major substance secreted is mucous and the main constituent of the mucus is mucopolysaccharides also known as mucin.
The mucous membrane and the mucus of the body mainly help in the protection and lubrication, like to trap particulate matter and pathogens with the help of mucus and preventing their entry to the deeper tissue. Whether it might be the lungs or the tissues lying immediately below the membrane layer, and it also helps to keep the underlying tissue moist.
Mucous Membrane Function
The main function of the mucous membrane and the mucous is to keep the tissue moist (for example in the respiratory tract, including the mouth and nose).
The lining of the mucous membrane of the eye also plays an important role in the absorption and transformation of nutrients.
Mucous membranes also protect the body from the harmful substance within, like for instance mucosa in the stomach protects from stomach acid, and mucosa lining in the bladder protects the underlying tissue from urine.
The mucous membrane in the uterus is called the endometrium, which swells each month and is eliminated during menstruation.
Examples of the Mucous Membrane
Some of the Examples of the Mucous Membrane are Given Below:
Ocular Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid
Ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid is a disease related to the eye mucous membrane, it is a type of scarring conjunctivitis. It mainly affects the membrane, that covers the lines of the eyelids and it covers the white of the eye. In the UK around 1 million people are affected by ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid and if it is not treated, it can lead to complete blindness.
The symptoms of this disease cause blistering (known as pemphigoid cicatricial) and scarring on the skin. The ocular (eye) mucous membrane form is often part of a wider condition which not only affects the eye but also other membranes that line the body, like the mouth, nose, throat, and genitals.
Role of Location in the Baby’s Mucous Membrane
Lactation is the secretion of milk to nourish a newborn baby through the specialized gland known as the mammary gland, Colostrum is the first milk produced by the mammary glands in the late pregnancy and after few days of giving birth. It is thick and yellowish in colour, it has a high concentration of nutrients and antibodies, but it is in very small quantity. It contains a high amount of white blood cells, antibodies and especially high in haemoglobin A. This immunoglobin coats the lining of the baby’s immature intestine mucous membrane, helping it to prevent pathogens from invading the baby’s system.
Do You Know?
What is stomatitis? It is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth which includes some of the inner aspects like lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and throat. It is a type of mucositis and it can be acute or chronic, mild, or also sometimes serious.
Inflammation of the lips (vermilion) is known as cheilitis,
Inflammation of the tongue is glossitis.
Inflammation of the gums is gingivitis.
And the Inflammation of the back of the mouth is pharyngitis.
Symptoms of stomatitis are red patches, mouth ulcers, blisters, peeling, swelling, oral dysaesthesia (numbness), and burning mouth syndrome – soreness despite normal appearance, and some of the common symptoms are pain stinging and soreness.