Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology: Sawyer Unit 3 Flashcards

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Respiratory, Immunity, Digestive System
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Know the functions of the respiratory system

  1. Provides an extensive surface area for gas exchange between air and blood in the body
  2. Contains the structures that moves air to and from exchange surfaces
  3. Protects respiratory surfaces from dehydration, temperature changes, and pathogens
  4. Produces sounds for communication; because without air moving over your vocal chords you would not be able to produce sounds
  5. Facilitates the detection of odor; recall that your olfaction organ is located in the roof of the nasal cavity, without the respiratory structures bringing air in and across that olfactory organ we would actually have difficulty detecting the chemical odors in the air.

Differentiate between the upper and lower respiratory systems



Describe the purpose the respiratory mucosa

It is the mucous membrane that lines the respiratory tract. It is composed of an epithelial layer (most common being the pseudo stratified columnar epithelia that have cilia which helps with the mucous flow) and in the connective tissue (areolar) underneath called the lamina propria. It also has mucous glands that produce the mucous that line the respiratory cavity.


Compare and contrast the lamina propria in the upper and lower respiratory systems

In the upper system you will find the mucous glands in the lamina propria and the epithelial layer.

In the lower system the lamina propia also contains smooth muscle tissue so that your bronchioles can be dilated and constricted.


Describe the respiratory defense system

The purpose of the respiratory defense system is to filter out debris/ pathogens in inhaled air.


Nasal Hairs (Nares): to filter out the largest particles that you inhale

Mucous: to trap all particles larger than 10 micrometers that passed through the nasal hairs.

-Rate of mucous production increases when you are exposed to either allergens or pathogens. These are antigens that cause an allergic reaction or pathogens like viruses bacteria or parasites.

Cilia: sweep (via a power stroke in one direction like an oar) the mucous upwards against gravity towards the pharynx to be swallowed. (mucous elevator) They are attached to the pseudo stratified columnar epithelia.

-in the upper respiratory system the mucous is moving downwards with gravity so it is easy to clear.

-in the lower respiratory the mucous is moving upwards against gravity to get to the pharynx for you to swallow it. (one of the reasons that you swallow your mucous is because your digestive system is an extremely inhospitable place with high levels of acid and proteolytic enzymes in your stomach will take care go any pathogens that get caught in your mucous.)

Alveolar Macrophages: patrol the alveoli of the lungs; when very small particles get past your nasal hairs and mucus if they get all the way down into your lungs they take care of any foreign particles that


When the defense system breaks down...

1. Tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis (a.k.a. Consumption) occurs when a bacteria (mycobacterium tuberculosis) overwhelms respiratory defenses.
  • Bacteria colonize the respiratory passageways, interstitial space, and.or alveoli
  • Can remain latent for long periods of time before it can reactive and cause symptoms

2. Cystic Fibrosis

  • Cystic Fibrosis: a genetic disorder where respiratory mucosa produces dense viscous mucus which disables the mucous elevator to work. This disfunction results in the mucous staying in the bronchi and alveoli.
  • This can cause frequent infections because the bacteria that get trapped in the mucus end up staying there and they can colonize and multiply rather than being swept up to the pharynx to be swallowed into the stomach.
  • Also, thick mucus can make breathing difficult in the cystic fibrous patients.

Know the major structures of the upper respiratory system

What is the purpose of the paranasal sinuses??

Describe air flow through the nasal conchae

What is the benefit of air turbulence in t his region??

Describe the structure and purpose of the nasal mucosa

What three sections make up the pharynx??



In the respiratory system all structures are involved in what?

All structures involved in ventilation and gas exchange


What is the dividing line between the upper and lower respiratory systems?

The area between pharynx and the larynx


What structures are located in your upper respiratory system?

the nasal cavity, sinuses, mouth, nose, pharynx


What structures are located in your lower respiratory system?

larynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and the lungs


Which part of the respiratory system allows the bronchioles to be dilated and constricted?

upper respiratory epithelial layer

upper respiratory lamina propia layer

lower respiratory epithelial layer

lower respiratory lamina propia layer