Serous Membrane | Definition, Structure & Functions

Serous Membrane

Serous Membrane Definition:

The serous membrane is defined as a thin membrane that lines the internal body cavities and the organs including the heart, lungs and abdominal cavity. The thin membrane of the serous membranes is composed of mesothelium tissue that originates from mesoderm. The serous membranes permits for functionless movement lies in a number of vital organs.

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There is a number of serous membranes present in the body; the pericardium surrounds the heart and some blood vessels, the pleural membrane covers the lungs, the peritoneal membrane surrounds the abdominal cavity and its related organs. There are also serous membranes used to cover the testes (the tunica virginals).

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Serous Membrane Structure:

The serous membranes are composed of two layers of mesothelium which joins with a layer of loose connective tissue and locates on the basal lamina. The internal visceral layer covers the organs, and a parietal layer creates the walls of body cavities. The mesothelium cells generate glycosaminoglycan and other substances that work as a lubricant. Two layers of mesothelium have the ability to move over each other effortlessly because of its thin layer of fluid lies between two.

The serous membranes are varied in size and complexity. The pericardium and pleura are simple with having smooth contours. The pericardium is the largest membrane with convoluted shape in some areas which can measure as much as the surface area of skin.

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Serous Membrane Function:

The serous membranes perform number of functions that relate to the security of organs and body cavities that it encloses. It permits the frictionless movement of the heart and lungs as also for organs of the abdominal cavity. This fact permits the organs to the movement of smooth muscles without any damage.

The serous membranes also work to regulate the movement of fluids and the other substances across the membrane. The additional functions performed by the serous membranes include the synthesis of cytokines and other molecules involve in pair of the membrane and the inflammatory response, and control some immune responses such as coagulation and movement of white blood cells.

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