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August 24, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(8):592-595. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760340038011

THE THYMUS GLAND  L. G. ROWNTREE, M.D.Director, Philadelphia Institute for Medical Research PHILADELPHIA

Note.—  This article and the articles in the previous issues of The Journal are part of a series published under the auspices of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry. The last will appear in the next issue. When completed, the series will be published in book form.—Ed.Uncertainty has characterized our knowledge of the thymus gland from ancient down to modern times; its function has remained a riddle. Despite the fact that the gland occurs in all higher animals and in lower orders down to primitive fishes, its nature is not understood. By some it is considered a gland of internal secretion, by others a part of the lymphatic system or a vestigial structure. Though epithelial in origin, the gland becomes lymphoid in character at birth or with advancing years. Pappenheimer1 regards it as

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