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the slimy protective secretion of the mucous membranes, consisting mainly of mucin



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.


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



A viscid fluid secreted by mucous glands, consisting of mucin, water, inorganic salts, epithelial cells, and leukocytes, held in suspension.
References in periodicals archive ?
Periodic acid-Schiff staining (PAS) was used to evaluate the secretion of gastric mucus, which was also performed by pathologists in Medical School of Southeast University, China.
pylori resides within biofilm overlying and within gastric mucus.
Adherent gastric mucus content was also found to be significantly increased in all the standard drugs treated groups.
A 70000-molecular-weight protein isolated from purified pig gastric mucus glycoprotein by reduction of disulphide bridges and its implication in the polymeric structure.
pylori adhesion to the gastric mucus and stomach epithelium by cranberry will possibly benefit prevention of peptic ulcers in the future (Cranberry Institute 2006, Burger 2002).
Selbelle(R) relieves the stomach discomfort from repetitive stomach heaviness and heartburn by the effect of its active ingredient "Teprenone" that promotes the secretion of gastric mucus and protects gastric mucosa, as well as the natural extracts improving the function of gastric peristalsis.
The necrotizing agents produce ulceration in gastric mucosa by depleting gastric mucus and breaking the mucosal barrier (Devenport, 1967).
70 000 molecular-weight protein isolated from purified pig gastric mucus glycoprotein by reduction of disulphide bridges and its implication in the polymeric structure.
Our results showed that the gastric mucus content markedly increased in PA-treated groups as well as the positive control group as opposed to the ulcer control group.
It inhibits gastric acidity by increasing gastric mucus secretion (Guha and Ghosh 1995).