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June 17, 1944


JAMA. 1944;125(7):512. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850250052024

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To the Editor:—  A recently published report by Trautman and Schreiter (Zur physiologischen Bedeutung der Tonsillen, Deutsche tierärztl. Wchnschr.50:361, 1942) appears to furnish noteworthy new information regarding the physiologic role of tonsils in animals and thus may be of interest to the medical profession. The work of these German investigators was based on the fact that fowl are devoid of tonsils. Therefore they fed pharyngeal tonsils of young and adult mammals (calves and cows) to fowl (young roosters, hens and ducks). The feeding of one tonsil per week caused growth inhibition and disturbances in feathers, comb and wattles soon after feeding. The effects were more pronounced if tonsils of young animals were fed. These observations led to the assumption by the authors that hormones originate from the tonsils, which stimulate the activity of the thyroid and the pineal gland. With involution of tonsils in maturing animals, the formation

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