Heterogeneity of the composition and thickness of ...
|Title||Heterogeneity of the composition and thickness of tracheal mucus in rats|
|Author(s)||D. Sims, M. Horne|
|Journal||The American Journal of Physiology|
|Issue||5 Pt 1|
|Abstract||Inability to preserve airway mucus in situ has limited our understanding of its structure and function. This light- and transmission electron-microscopic study of rat tracheal mucus used a nonaqueous fixative that retains mucus (epiphase) over a lucent layer (hypophase). The fixative is a 1% solution of osmium tetroxide dissolved in a perfluorocarbon. The mean thickness of rat tracheal epiphase was 5 microns, with significant variation (0.1-50 microns) around the tracheal circumference. Tracheal mucus was thickest at the trachealis muscle region and contained cells, cellular debris, and a variable amount of surfactant and lipid, estimated at 4-16% of the total epiphase in five rats, with a mean composition of 9%. Lipid was observed on the surface of the epiphase, embedded within mucus, and at the epiphase-hypophase interface. Refined study of developmental, physiological, and pathological alterations to the airway coat may benefit from this approach.|
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