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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 ?
At the highest dose (50 mg/kg), NR-ANX-C was superior to both omeprazole and ranitidine in increasing the adherent gastric mucus content.
In both these models, the adherent gastric mucus plays an important role in preventing development of ulcers due to its cytoprotective action.
The protease-activated receptor-2 agonist induces gastric mucus secretion and mucosal cytoprotection.
Table 3 shows that the mean value of the gastric mucus content in HCl/EtOH-induced ulcerated rats was significantly lower than that of the control group.
Factors that impair mucosal defense are HCl, gastrin, histamine, Helicobacter pylori, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ethanol, caffeine and stress, while factors that promote mucosal integrity are gastric mucus and bicarbonate, gastric mucosal barrier, prostaglandins (PGs) and mucosal blood flow (Brunton, 1996; Friedman and Peterson, 1998).
The determined gastric wall mucus was used as an indicator for gastric mucus secretion, while mucosal hexosamine content was used as an indicator for gastric wall mucus synthesis (Lukie and Forstner, 1972).
2] release and gastric mucus formation which would protect the gastric mucosa.
The gastric mucus was excised, weighed and placed in 1 ml of 10 mM sodium phosphate buffer (pH 7.
An increase in gastric mucus production was seen in the [PGE.