The effect of associated lipids and covalently bound fatty acids, and the contribution of serum albumin and secretory IgA to the viscosity of dog gastric mucus glycoprotein was investigated. Using a cone/plate viscometer at shear rates between 1.15 - 230s -1, it was found that extraction of associated lipids from the glycoprotein lead to 80-85% decrease in the viscosity. Further loss (39%) in viscosity of the delipidated glycoprotein occurred following removal of covalently bound fatty acids. Reassociation of the delipidated glycoprotein with its neutral lipids increased the viscosity 3-fold, a 2.5-fold increase was obtained with glycolipids, and 2-fold with phospholipids. Preincubation of purified mucus glycoprotein with albumin or IgA resulted in the increase in viscosity. This increase in viscosity was proportional to albumin concentration up to 10%, and to IgA concentration up to 5%. The results show that interaction of lipids and proteins with mucus glycoprotein contributes significantly to the viscosity of gastric mucus.