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What Is the Lamina Propria?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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The lamina propria is a part of the body’s mucous membranes. It is a loose connective tissue that runs through the sensitive skin areas in the lining of the nose and throat, as well as in other sensitive areas of the body. The lamina propria is also part of the mechanism for handling bodily secretions.

In Latin, the name of this tissue means “the special layer.” It is one of two main elements in the mucosa along with the epithelium, another kind of tissue. Underneath these two layers, elements like the submucosa join these delicate structures to denser, more rudimentary tissues.

Although much of the lamina propria area is shielded from harm by its location on the internal areas of the body, some lamina propria areas nearer to surface areas are vulnerable to the collection of bacteria and germs. Scientists have found that the mucosa tends to be negatively impacted by pathogens. This is part of what has led to hand-washing programs and other common sense efforts in hospitals and medical areas to limit dangerous infections and viral conditions.

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In some of the internal areas of the body, part of the role of the lamina propria and the epithelium is to carry glandular secretions to areas where they are needed. This explains the location of much of this special tissue in the body. It also explains why these areas are frequently “irrigated” by their naturally moist environments. The “special” role of the mucosa leads to its implicit inclusion in a variety of different health education programs, such as reproductive education, gastrointestinal education, or information on the common cold, that are a large part of the typical family practice.

Studying the role of the lamina propria, and the mucosa in general, can tell us a lot about the ways our bodies work. Reseach on the mucosa has a lot of practical applications for disease prevention and the containment of various kinds of contagions. In modern science, researchers might look at the vulnerability of the mucosa, for example, while theorizing about the effects of microbes in epidemics, or even biological warfare. Caring for the body’s most sensitive elements can be a valuable part of one's overall health and wellness practices, which can limit the harmful impact of a negative environment.

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