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August 24, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(17):1926. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980170066008

Recent reports on the chemical properties and physiological action of growth hormone preparations made from human or monkey pituitary glands provide striking evidence that the apparent ineffectiveness of growth hormone preparations of bovine or porcine origin in primates may be due to chemical differences in growth hormone derived from various species.

Acromegaly was shown to be associated with enlargement of the pituitary gland by Minkowski in 1887, and by 1909 a number of investigators had shown that hypophysectomy in animals led to a retardation of growth.1 More convincing evidence of the existence of a pituitary growth factor was forthcoming, in 1921, when Evans and Long2 injected saline extracts of ox anterior pituitary glands into rats and found they increased in weight and grew more rapidly than littermate controls. Shortly thereafter, Smith3 observed that rats that had undergone hypophysectomy would resume growth if injected with anterior lobe extracts.