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The Thickness Of The Mucus Layer In Different Segments Of The Rat Intestine
Published 2004 · Biology
SummaryThe thickness of the pre-epithelial mucus layer has been measured in different gut segments of rats kept under normal (ad libitum) feeding conditions, and after 48 h of fasting, using cryostat sections and celloidin stabilization from samples containing luminal contents. The mucus layer of the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, caecum, proximal colon, colon transversum, distal colon and rectum was studied in five groups of male rats (10, 40, 70 and 150 days of age, and older). Underad libitum feeding conditions, a distinct and continuous mucus layer, with a thickness of more than 3 μm, was only observed in the colon transversum, in the distal colon, in the rectum and in the stomach. No pre-epithelial mucus layer was observed in the duodenum and jejunum where the glycocalix from the apical membrane of the superficial cells appeared to be in a direct contact with the luminal ingesta. In the ileum, caecum and the proximal colon, the surface epithelium of the mucosa was only partly covered by a mucus layer of highly variable thickness. After 48 h of fasting, a mucus layer of 28.8 ± 25.6 μm and 93.3 ± 59.4 μm thickness, respectively, was found in the duodenum and jejunum of adult rats, but no increase in the thickness of the mucus layer was observed in the rat hind gut.