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Muscularis mucosae

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Title: Muscularis mucosae  
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Subject: Mucous membrane, Mastocytoma, Goblet cell, Esophageal glands, Cardiac glands, Duct (anatomy), Muscularis
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Muscularis mucosae

Muscularis mucosae
Section of duodenum of cat. X 60. (Muscularis mucosae labeled at right, third from the top.)
Latin Lamina muscularis mucosae
Gray's p.1144
Anatomical terminology

The lamina muscularis mucosae (or muscularis mucosae) is a thin layer of muscle of the gastrointestinal tract, located outside the lamina propria mucosae and separating it from the submucosa. It is present in a continuous fashion from the oesophagus to the upper rectum (the exact nomenclature of the rectum’s muscle layers is still being debated). A discontinuous muscularis mucosae-like muscle layer is present in the urinary tract, from the renal pelvis to urinary bladder; as it is discontinuous it should not be regarded as a true muscularis mucosae.

In the gastrointestinal tract, the term mucosa or "mucous membrane" refers to the combination of epithelium, lamina propria, and (where it occurs) muscularis mucosae.[1] The etymology suggests this, since the Latin names translate to "the mucosa's own special layer" (lamina propria mucosae) and "muscular layer of the mucosa" (lamina muscularis mucosae).

The muscularis mucosae is composed of several thin layers of smooth muscle fibers oriented in different ways which keep the mucosal surface and underlying glands in a constant state of gentle agitation to expel contents of glandular crypts and enhance contact between epithelium and the contents of the lumen.


  1. ^ H.G. Burkitt et al., Wheater's Functional Histology, 3rd ed.

Stacey E. Mills - Histology for Pathologists: 3rd (third) Edition, page 670. ISBN 9780781762410

Additional images

External links

  • Bioweb at UWLAX aplab
  • Muscularis+mucosae at eMedicine Dictionary
  • Histology image: 14_08 at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - "Lung"
  • Physiology at MCG 6/6ch1/s6ch1_11
  • Anatomy photo: digestive/mammal/system1/system4 - Comparative Organology at University of California, Davis - "Mammal, whole system (LM, Low)"
  • UIUC Histology Subject 830

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