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August 9, 1930


Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, Yale University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1930;95(6):395-396. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720060013005

Since 1926, when Depisch1 in Germany and Barborka2 in America described the disappearance of fat from the subcutaneous tissues of several diabetic patients at the site of insulin injections, a number of reports have been made of this condition and many speculations have arisen as to its cause. Priesel and Wagner3 believed the preservative tricresol, at that time used in some insulin preparations, was responsible for the phenomenon because of its fat splitting properties. Carmichael and Graham4 suggested that minute amounts of lipase in the insulin could cause this disappearance of fat. Rabinowitch,5 however, was unable to demonstrate the presence of lipase in the large amount of a particular lot of insulin which he concentrated at low temperature and pressure, thereby confirming the claims of three American manufacturers of insulin6 that their product was lipase free. Avery7 observed that development of the atrophic

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