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Clinical Aspects of Gastrointestinal Mucus

  • G. Forstner
  • A. Wesley
  • J. Forstner
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 144)

Abstract

In his Croonian Lecture of 1964,1 Sir Howard Florey attributed three significant functions to gastrointestinal mucus: protection of the underlying mucosa from chemical and physical injury, lubrication of the mucosal surface to facilitate passage of luminal ingredients and the removal of parasites by binding and entrapment. In re-reading Florey’s seminal contribution to this field, one is struck by the little our understanding of the fundamental functions of mucus has expanded in the intervening years. To a great extent even the three “Floreyian” roles for this “slimey secretion” remain articles of faith, buttressed at best, by indirect and circumstantial pieces of evidence which lack convincing bite. If I can use a phrase turned by a Torontonian philosopher, Marshall McLuhan, it may be as true of mucus as of modern communication that “the medium is the message”. If so, we will probably never understand function fully until the structural and organizational complexities of mucus are unravelled.

Keywords

Cystic Fibrosis Sialic Acid Goblet Cell Cholera Toxin Mucus Secretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Forstner
    • 1
  • A. Wesley
    • 1
  • J. Forstner
    • 1
  1. 1.Kinsmen Cystic Fibrosis Research Centre, Dept. of Paediatrics and BiochemistryThe Hospital for Sick Children and the University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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