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Classification of Body Membranes

Epithelial Membranes and Connective Tissue Membranes

Epithelial Membrane

A membrane composed of epithelial tissue and an underlying layer of connective tissue.

Connective Tissue Membrane

A membrane composed largely of various types of connective tissue.

Three kinds of epithelial membranes

Cutaneous Membrane, Serous Membranes, and Mucous Membranes

Cutaneous Membrane


Serous Membrane

simple squamous epithelium on a connective tissue basement membrane.

Basement Membrane

the connective layer of the serous membrane that holds and supports epithelial cells.

Parietal Membrane

Serous membrane that lines walls of body cavities.

Viceral Membrane

Serous membrane that covers organs found in body cavities.


parietal and visceral layers line walls of thoracic cavity and cover lungs.


parietal and visceral layers line walls of abdominal cavity and cover the organs in that cavity.


inflammation of the serous membranes that line the chest cavity and cover the lungs.


inflammation of the serous membranes in the abdominal cavity that line the walls and cover the abdominal organs.

Mucous Membranes

Membranes that line body surfaces that open directly to the exterior and that produce a thick secretion that keeps the membranes soft and moist.

Connective Tissue Membranes

Membranes that do not contain epithelial components.

Synovial Membrane

Connective tissue membrane that is smooth and thick and lines the space between the bones and joints that move. They also line the bursae sacs.

Synovial Fluid

a thick colorless lubricating fluid secreted by the membranes that cover the spaces between the bone and joints that move.


small cushion-like sacs found between many moving body parts. They are lined with Synovial membranes.

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