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April 22, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(16):1282-1283. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500430046004

Of the four chief "ductless glands," the thyroid, adrenal, hypophysis cerebri (pituitary body) and thymus, in only the first two has their function been understood through the isolation of a definite internal secretion. As to the function of the hypophysis and the thymus we are still very much in the dark. Beyond its relation to acromegaly we still know little concerning the former, and even this relationship is by no means so well defined as might be desired. In the thymus we have an organ quite different from the other three, which are all typical epithelial glands, since it presents the peculiarity of being both an epithelial and a lymphoid organ, with the lymphoid tissue preponderating. In the past few years there has been a considerable growth in the interest taken in the thymus, corresponding with the general advance in the study of the ductless glands and their secretions, but