Anatomy & Physiology Respiratory #11


Which is the function of the cells in the mucous lining of the nose?


  1. Produces a half pint of mucus per day.
    • Rationale:

      Research suggests that the cells in the mucous lining of the nose produce 1.5 liters, not 0.5 pints, of mucous per day even in the absence of illness. This mucous helps to keep the lining of the nose moist to decrease the risk for injury.

  2. Traps dirt and particles inhaled through the nose.
    • Rationale:

      The cells that line the mucous membrane (i.e., cilia) of the nose function provide a protective function for the upper respiratory tract as they trap bacteria and other harmful substances that are inhaled through the nose.

  3. Plays a role in digestive function as it is swallowed with saliva.
    • Rationale:

      While mucous that is produced by the nose may be swallowed with saliva, it does not play a role in the digestive process.

  4. Destroys all pathogens before they enter the lower respiratory tract.
    • Rationale:

      While the cells of the mucous membrane of the nose do play a role in trapping inhaled particles and other harmful substances, they do not destroy all pathogens before they enter the structures of the lower respiratory tract.


The nose is a structure of the upper respiratory system.


Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes: Specific cells in the nose, referred to as cilia, are tiny hair-like structures. These cilia filter, or trap, dirt and particles inhaled through the nose such as bacteria, dust, and other harmful substances. As air moves through the nose, it is also warmed to the temperature of the other anatomical structures of the respiratory system.

Test Taking Tip

Answer options that contain absolute words, such as only, can likely be eliminated as wrong answers.

Video Rationale