The nasal cavities contain two major areas.
The respiratory area is lined by a pseudostratified, ciliated, columnar epithelium. The epithelium contains goblet cells (respiratory epithelium) and a subjacent fibrous lamina propria with mixed mucous and serous glands.
Mucus is carried toward the pharynx by ciliary motion. The lateral walls contain conchae, which increase the surface area and promote warming of the inspired air. This region is richly vascularized and innervated.
The olfactory area is located in the posterosuperior nasal cavity and is lined by a pseudostratified epithelium composed of bipolar neurons (olfactory cells), supporting cells, brush cells, and basal cells.
The basal cells are stem cells that continuously turn over to replace the olfactory receptor cells. This is the only example in the adult human where neurons are replaced.
Under the epithelium, Bowman glands produce serous fluid, which dissolves odorous substances.
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