1. Mucus samples obtained from colectomy colons from 10 patients with ulcerative colitis and four patients with Crohn's disease of the colon, together with samples from 10 normal postmortem colons, have been studied.
2. Two glycoprotein fractions were isolated from mucosal scrapings by gel-permeation chromatography. The high-molecular-weight fraction consisted largely of mucus glycoproteins and was further purified to the glycopolypeptides. The low-molecular-weight fraction contained a glycoprotein with a high mannose content. The carbohydrate content of both the mucus glycoprotein and glycopolypeptide fractions were significantly reduced in active colitis.
3. Oligosaccharides were prepared from the mucus glycoprotein material. In the normal material more than half the units contained eight or more monosaccharide residues, whereas in the disease material the bulk of the units were smaller than this.