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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Sep;144(3 Pt 2):S52-6.

Human nasal respiratory secretions and host defense.

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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The largest human body surface is the lining of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and reproductive system each of which is covered by mucous membranes, named for their capacity to secrete mucus. Recent studies of mucus have defined some of the physiologic and pharmacologic controls of secretions. However, the constituents that are found in mucus and their roles in human health and disease are still in the initial phases of exploration. Human nasal respiratory secretions provide one convenient source of mucous membrane secretions. Nasal secretions include a variety of proteins, which appear to serve important functions in host-defense. Most, if not all, of the antiphlogistic products are synthesized and secreted by serous cells in the submucous glands, and it appears that the serous cell is the resident antimicrobial cell in mucous membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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