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September 1950


Author Affiliations


From the Medical Section, St. Anthony Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1950;86(3):427-442. doi:10.1001/archinte.1950.00230150110008

VON MERING and Minkowski1 in 1889 made the fundamental discovery that total extirpation of the pancreas in dogs produces a disease which resembles ordinary human diabetes mellitus in all important features (glycosuria, hyperglycemia, ketonuria and loss of body weight). Such dogs usually died after two or three weeks in diabetic coma. Minkowski2 further demonstrated that diabetes did not occur if after pancreatectomy a sizable share of the gland was implanted outside the peritoneal cavity, thus proving the inner secretory nature of the antidiabetic principle of the pancreas. As the histologic origin of the external secretion of the pancreas (i. e., pancreatic juice and its various digestive enzymes) was accounted for by the acinar epithelial cells which secrete into the open ducts, the origin of the internal secretion was logically looked for in accumulations of histologically different epithelial cells which are scattered throughout the pancreas and not connected with

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