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The role of mucins in mucositis

Thorpe, Daniel

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: June 2019 - Volume 13 - Issue 2 - p 114–118
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000423
GASTROINTESTINAL SYMPTOMS: Edited by Nicole Blijlevens and Andrea M. Stringer

Purpose of review Alimentary mucositis is a severe dose limiting side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Mucin expression and secretion are associated with mucositis. This article aims to review current studies involving mucin and mucositis.

Recent findings Mucins have been shown to alter mucositis severity and key targets associated with mucositis. First, interventions increasing mucin content has been associated with reduce damage associated with mucositis. Second, mucins have also been shown to protect microbiota from radiation-induced damage. Finally, mucins have also been shown to be involved in lumen epithelial barrier interactions altering signalling for cell proliferation, motility, and the inhibition of apoptosis.

Summary The current studies suggest that mucin expression prior to and during mucositis may be very important in reducing the severity of mucositis and further research into the area is warranted.

School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Correspondence to Dr Daniel Thorpe, PhD, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, SA, Australia. Tel: +61 431028799; e-mail:

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