Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Two morphologically distinct mucous cell types have been described in the ascending colon of rat and man. These include the goblet cells and non-goblet mucous (NGM) cells. The latter are known in the rat as "deep crypt secretory" (DCS) cells.;The purpose of this study was to examine various aspects of these NGM cells, including the histochemical nature of the rat DCS cell and human NGM cells. In addition, the reactions of the NGM cells were studied and compared to those of the goblet cells in an experimental model of colitis and in human IBD. A range of mammalian species, classed according to diet were investigated to determine the presence of these non-goblet cells.;In all the species studied sulphomucin was predominant in the goblet cells. The NGM cells of man, rat and the guinea pig contained mostly sialomucin. The dog and cat NGM cells, contained sulphomucin but no sialomucin. The Ox NGM cells contained sulphomucin with only trace amounts of sialomucin. The pig NGM cells had both sulpho- and sialomucin.;When the animals were classed according to their diets it was seen that omnivores and carnivores had a small slender NGM cell, while the herbivores have large NGM cells. The chemical content of the mucus is not a function of the diet as the histochemistry of the mucus differed within each group.;Following the production of experimental colitis by the topical administration of acetic acid in rats, it was observed that the descending colon was less affected than was the descending colon. The DCS cells lost their mucus more rapidly than did the goblet cells, which remained well preserved in areas adjacent to the ulcers. Non-ulcerated areas of the descending colon, showed an increase in the DCS cell population. Non-ulcerated areas throughout the colon showed no change in the histochemistry of the mucus. This was not the case in human colitis. Both goblet and NGM cells had a decrease in sulphomucin and an increase in sialomucin.;It was postulated that the DCS or NGM cells serve a protective function in the ascending colon.



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