The mucous membranes (or mucosae; singular: mucosa) are linings of mostly endodermal origin, covered in epithelium, which are involved in absorption and secretion. They line various body cavities that are exposed to the external environment and internal organs. It is at several places continuous with skin: at the nostrils, the lips, the ears, the genital area, and the anus. The sticky, thick fluid secreted by the mucous membranes and gland is termed mucus. The term mucous membrane refers to where they are found in the body and not every mucous membrane secretes mucus.
Body cavities featuring mucous membrane include most of the respiratory system. The glans penis (head of the penis) and glans clitoridis and the inside of the prepuce (foreskin) and clitoral hood are mucous membranes, not skin.
Types of mucosa (incomplete)
- Buccal mucosa
- Gastric mucosa
- Intestinal mucosa
- Olfactory mucosa
- Oral mucosa
- bronchial mucosa
- Uterine mucosa
- Endometrium is the mucosa of the uterus
Wall of the ureter.
Section of mucous membrane of human stomach, near the cardiac orifice.
General structure of the gut wall showing the Mucosa.
- Template:UCDavisOrganology - "Mammal, whole system (LM, Low)"
- Mucous+Membrane at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)