mucus

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mucus

the slimy protective secretion of the mucous membranes, consisting mainly of mucin
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mucus

 

in animals and man, the secretion of mucous glands. In amphibians mucus is secreted onto the skin, whereas in invertebrates and other vertebrates it is secreted into the internal cavities of many organs, where it coats the mucous membranes.

Mucus is immunologically and bactericidally active. It protects organs and integumentary tissues from mechanical injuries and facilitates the movement of food along the digestive tract. Certain annelids, mollusks, ascidians, and other animals feed on food particles that adhere to the mucus when water is filtered through it.

Chemically, mucus is a complex mixture of glycoproteins, which account for approximately 40 percent of its dry weight. For example, mucus secreted by gastric and intestinal mucous epithelia is an aqueous solution of acid mucopolysaccharides, which are similar or identical to the mucopolysaccharides of connective tissue, neutral glycoproteins, which contain a large quantity of fucose, and acid glycoproteins, which contain sialic acids. Hyaluronic acid is a major constituent of synovia.

Mucus is important in maintaining cellular fluid and ion balances. In mammals it is a constituent of the developing embryo’s connective tissue, although at birth it is found only in the umbilical cord.

REFERENCES

Khimiia uglevodov. Moscow, 1967.
Kretovich, V. L. Osnovy biokhimii rastenii, 5th ed. Moscow, 1971.
Schlegel, H. Obshchaia mikrobiologiia. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from German.)

N. D. GABRIELIAN

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

mucus

[′myü·kəs]
(physiology)
A viscid fluid secreted by mucous glands, consisting of mucin, water, inorganic salts, epithelial cells, and leukocytes, held in suspension.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Effect of estrus cervical mucus peroxidase and fern pattern on fertility in crossbred cows.
Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy in three ways: It inhibits ovulation, changes the cervical mucus to help prevent sperm from reaching the egg, and changes the uterine lining to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
When I was young no one really understood what cervical mucus was, what it was for, and why it changed over the month.
Cervical mucus is found at the opening of the vagina.
Researchers determine those values with the bovine cervical mucus test, which measures the distance sperm can travel during a set time (90 minutes, in this case) through a tube of the mucus.
This homone prevents ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus, impeding the passage of sperm into the uterus.
The recent discovery that high levels of nicotine are found in the cervical mucus of smokers has suggested that cigarette smoke carcinogens might play a direct role in causing the cancer.
Both preterm deliveries and midtrimester losses are thought to be secondary to cervical insufficiency, decreased cervical mucus, and ascending infection.
Teofisto Guingona III said the substance "inhibits ovulation and increases cervical mucus secretion."