Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Gastrointestinal mucus in dog: Physiological characteristics, composition, and structural properties

Dubbelboer, Ilse R.; Barmpatsalou, Vicky; Rodler, Agnes; Karlsson, Eva; Nunes, Sandro Filipe; Holmberg, Johanna; Haggstrom, Jens; Bergstrom, Christel A. S.


Gastrointestinal (GI) mucus is continuously secreted and lines the entire length of the GI tract. Essential for health, it keeps the noxious luminal content away from the epithelium. Our aim was to characterize the composition and structure of mucus throughout the various GI segments in dog. Mucus was collected from the stomach, small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum), and large intestine (cecum, proximal and distal colon) from dogs. Composition was determined by multi-omics. Structural properties were investigated using cryoSEM and rheology. GI mucus contained 74-95% water and maintained a pH around 6.5. The proteome was similar across the different GI segments. The highest abundant secreted gel-forming mucin in the gastric mucus was mucin 5AC, whether mucin 2 had highest abundance in the intestinal mucus. Lipid and metabolite abundance was generally higher in the jejunal mucus than the colonic mucus. CryoSEM microscopy revealed smaller pore size in small intestinal mucus, which increased in the large intestine. All mucus samples showed shear-thinning behavior and characteristics of gel-like structure. In conclusion, the mucus is a highly viscous and hydrated material. These data provide an important baseline for future studies on human and canine intestinal diseases and the dog model in drug absorption.


Mucus; Mucin; Multi-omics; Rheology; cryoSEM; Dog

Published in

European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
2022, volume: 173, pages: 92-102
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Dubbelboer, Ilse R.
Uppsala University
Barmpatsalou, Vicky
Uppsala University
Rodler, Agnes
Uppsala University
Karlsson, Eva
Nunes, Sandro Filipe
AstraZeneca BioPharmaceut RandD
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Bergstrom, Christel A. S.
Uppsala University

UKÄ Subject classification

Medical Bioscience

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)