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November 14, 1953


JAMA. 1953;153(11):1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940280048019

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To the Editor:—  The Selye article that appeared in The Journal (152:1207 [July 25] 1953) is directed against the thesis that the glucocorticoids provide some "protective shield" around the tissues of the body. Experimental work is quoted from which a hypothesis, stating that "inflammation and necrosis are two related, but fundamentally opposed, types of reactions to nonspecific tissue injury," is derived. The key word in this hypothesis is "opposed." Temporally the two reactions are closely related; morphologically they may be separated. To place a teleological framework on the occurrence of necrosis and inflammation is to prolong the now defunct debate on the usefulness or harmfulness of inflammatory phenomena. It is necessary to recognize the importance of this class of recently defined hormones (cortisone and corticotropin) in general body reactions to injuries of various sorts. Partial insight as to how these hormones function on the local tissue level has been

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