The observation about nine years ago that liver contained a substance which when fed to patients with pernicious anemia produced a dramatic improvement aroused immediate interest regarding the chemical nature of the active substance. Chemical "dissections" of the complex hepatic material were undertaken in several laboratories and within a relatively short time information that gave considerable insight into the chemistry of the hematopoietic substance was reported.1 The active agent did not appear to be a carbohydrate, lipid, protein, proteose, peptone, simple polypeptide, purine, pyrimidine or single amino acid. Apparently it was a nitrogenous base, perhaps a secondary or tertiary amine. Further evidence of the nitrogenous character of the substance was reported by another group of investigators;2 their results, however, suggested that the active agent was probably a simple polypeptide.
In the five years since the completion of these pioneer investigations, progress in studies of the chemistry of the
CHEMICAL NATURE OF HEMATOPOIETIC SUBSTANCES PRESENT IN LIVER. JAMA. 1935;105(3):204–205. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760290038015
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