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October 30, 1937


Author Affiliations

Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Vienna VIENNA

From the first medical department of the Allgemeine Poliklinik.

JAMA. 1937;109(18):1442-1444. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780440032008

One of the most interesting and striking discoveries in the field of endocrinology in the last few years has been the fact that extended treatment with certain hormone preparations is followed by a resistance of the treated organism to these substances. This phenomenon was first described for thyroxine by Abelin1 in 1928 and has since been confirmed for a number of different principles, such as parathyroid extract, adrenal cortex extract and particularly the thyrotropic and gonadotropic principles of the anterior lobe of the pituitary. Collip2 explained the phenomenon of hormone resistance by his theory of antihormones.

The antihormone theory as originally proposed was as follows: For each hormone there may be an opposite or antagonistic principle. This antagonist is present in the normal subject but may not be detected until it exceeds in amount the hormone substances with which it is balanced. The analogy was drawn between the