[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
February 26, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(9):654-655. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790090036014

Thirty years ago Zuelzer1 proposed the theory that the adrenals have an important part in the development of diabetes mellitus. He suggested that epinephrine and the internal secretion of the pancreas were mutually antagonistic; removal of the pancreas or suppression of its secretory function by disease would permit epinephrine from the adrenals to mobilize sugar, with resultant glycosuria. In view of the known hyperglycemic action of pharmacologic doses of epinephrine, this theory has enjoyed wide currency. Various pro- cedures, surgical or roentgenologic, directed toward suppression of secretion by the adrenal medulla have been performed in recent years in the hope of ameliorating clinical diabetes. The inadequate physiologic background of these methods and the dangerous, sometimes fatal, results of their application have been discussed previously.2

Rogoff, Ferrill and Nixon,3 at the University of Chicago, have now tested Zuelzer's hypothesis experimentally to determine whether or not suppression of epinephrine