Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



trophozoites were centrifuged into mucus gels harvested from in vivo loops of rat cecum and proximal colon. Frank ameba movement was not detected in the colonic mucus, but attenuated motility was measured in the cecal mucus. The harvested rat cecal mucus had significantly lower apparent viscosity and neutral glycoprotein concentration values than the colonic mucus. A shape factor method was developed to assess the motility of amebae in mucus gels and intact mucus blankets. Shape factor data obtained from harvested mucus gel and intact mucus blanket experiments indicated that such mucus severely attenuated trophozoite movement with the attenuation being greater with colonic than with cecal mucus. trophozoites are known to be able to generate a pseudopod force of 3.3 × 10 Newtons. Latex microspheres of the size range of trophozoites were forced through cecal and colonic mucus gels under gravity. Colonic mucus gels could withstand a force of 3.3 × 10 Newtons while cecal mucus could not, suggesting that the ameba movement that was observed in cecal mucus involved mechanical penetration of the mucus by the ameba pseudopodia and did not require prior gel dissolution by enzymes.


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