Mucous membrane

Mucous membrane

Mucous membrane
Histological section taken from the gastric antrum, showing the mucosa of the stomach
Latin tunica mucosa
MeSH D009092
Mucous membrane
Anatomical terminology

A mucous membrane or mucosa (plural, mucosae or mucosas; genital area, and the anus.[1]

Mucus prevents pathogens and dirt from entering the body and prevents bodily tissue from losing moisture. Mucous membranes are rather delicate; they are able to absorb a number of substances and toxins but are vulnerable regarding pain. If the lining is torn or broken, mucus is incapable of performing its roles of preventing infection and retaining tissue moisture levels.[2]

In the female, the glans clitoridis and the clitoral hood have mucous membranes.[3] In the male, the glans penis (the head of the penis) and the inner layer of the foreskin have mucous membranes.[4] The urethra is also lined with a mucous membrane.[3] Some mucous membranes are involved with digestion in the absorption of insoluble food molecules and secretion (releasing chemicals from glands).[5] The thick fluid secreted by some mucous membranes and/or associated glands is termed mucus. The mucus can be protective.[6]


  • Some examples of mucosae 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Some examples of mucosae

See also


  1. ^ a b "Mucous membrane". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "What is a Mucous Membrane?". wiseGeek. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Edward Rigby (1841). A System of Midwifery: With numerous wood cuts. With notes and additional illustrations. Lea & Blanchard. pp. 46–. 
  4. ^ "Anatomy and Function" (PDF). coloradonocirc. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Role of the Mucus Barrier in Digestion" (PDF).  
  6. ^ "Mucus". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 

External links