The nasopharynx is the part of the throat behind the nasal passage. It is connected to the ear by two openings found on each side of the nasopharynx. The nasopharynx filters the inhaled air to protect the body from airborne infectious agents and other potentially harmful particles.

The nasopharynx histologically consists of three main layers:

  • The mucosa, consisting of epithelium, which is the most superficial, and lamina propria, which forms the tissue beneath the epithelium.
  • The submucosa, a connective tissue layer.
  • The adventitia, the deepest layer separating the nasopharynx from the surrounding tissues.

The two main types of epithelium in the nasopharynx are squamous epithelium and respiratory epithelium. In this sample respiratory epithelium is shown. The lamina propria consists of loose connective tissue, intermixed with blood vessels and immune cells. The main component of submucosa is connective tissue but it also contains seromucous glands. The adventitia consists of connective tissue.