Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
and increasing that of the other; ridges or spurs of bone growing into one or other cavity from the septum are also sometimes present. Immediately over the incisive canal at the lower edge of the cartilage of the septum a depression, the nasopalatine recess, is seen. In the septum close to this recess a minute orifice may be discerned; it leads backward into a blind pouch, the rudimentary vomeronasal organ of Jacobson, which is supported by a strip of cartilage, the vomeronasal cartilage. This organ is well-developed in many of the lower animals, where it apparently plays a part in the sense of smell, since it is supplied by twigs of the olfactory nerve and lined by epithelium similar to that in the olfactory region of the nose.
The roof of the nasal cavity is narrow from side to side, except at its posterior part, and may be divided, from behind forward, into sphenoidal, ethmoidal, and frontonasal parts, after the bones which form it.
The floor is concave from side to side and almost horizontal antero-posteriorly; its anterior three-fourths are formed by the palatine process of the maxilla, its posterior fourth by the horizontal process of the palatine bone. In its anteromedial part, directly over the incisive foramen, a small depression, the nasopalatine recess, is sometimes seen; it points downward and forward and occupies the position of a canal which connected the nasal with the buccal cavity in early fetal life.
The Mucous Membrane (membrana mucosa nasi).The nasal mucous membrane lines the nasal cavities, and is intimately adherent to the periosteum or perichondrium. It is continuous with the skin through the nares, and with the mucous membrane of the nasal part of the pharynx through the choanæ. From the nasal cavity its continuity with the conjunctiva may be traced, through the nasolacrimal and lacrimal ducts; and with the frontal, ethmoidal, sphenoidal, and maxillary sinuses, through the several openings in the meatuses. The mucous membrane is thickest, and most vascular, over the nasal conchæ. It is also thick over the septum; but it is very thin in the meatuses on the floor of the nasal cavities, and in the various sinuses.
Owing to the thickness of the greater part of this membrane, the nasal cavities are much narrower, and the middle and inferior nasal conchæ appear larger and more prominent than in the skeleton; also the various apertures communicating with the meatuses are considerably narrowed.
Structure of the Mucous Membrane (Fig. 857).The epithelium covering the mucous membrane differs in its character according to the functions of the part of the nose in which it is found. In the respiratory region it is columnar and ciliated. Interspersed among the columnar cells are goblet or mucin cells, while between their bases are found smaller pyramidal cells. Beneath the epithelium and its basement membrane is a fibrous layer infiltrated with lymph corpuscles, so as to form in many parts a diffuse adenoid tissue, and under this a nearly continuous layer of small and larger glands, some mucous and some serous, the ducts of which open upon the surface. In the olfactory region the mucous membrane is yellowish in color and the epithelial cells are columnar and non-ciliated; they are of two kinds, supporting cells and olfactory cells. The supporting cells contain oval nuclei, which are situated in the deeper parts of the cells and constitute the zone of oval nuclei; the superficial part of each cell is columnar, and contains granules of yellow pigment, while its deep part is prolonged as a delicate process which ramifies and communicates with similar processes from neighboring cells, so as to form a net-work in the mucous membrane. Lying between the deep processes of the supporting cells are a number of bipolar nerve cells, the olfactory cells, each consisting of a small amount of granular protoplasm with a large spherical nucleus, and possessing two processesa superficial one which runs between the columnar epithelial cells, and projects on the surface of the mucous membrane as a fine, hair-like process, the olfactory hair; the other or deep process runs inward, is frequently beaded, and is continued as the axon of an olfactory nerve fiber. Beneath the epithelium, and extending through the thickness of the mucous membrane, is a layer of tubular, often branched, glands, the glands of Bowman, identical in structure with serous glands. The epithelial cells of the nose, fauces and respiratory passages play an important role in the maintenance of an equable temperature, by the moisture with which they keep the surface always slightly lubricated.
Vessels and Nerves.The arteries of the nasal cavities are the anterior and posterior ethmoidal branches of the ophthalmic, which supply the ethmoidal cells, frontal sinuses, and roof