Interest in the metabolism of a compound essentially toxic and regularly formed in the enteric canal will continue, at least until a complete clarification of the mode of its detoxication is established. Furthermore, the toxicity of the compound will continue to justify studies directed toward disclosing the relation between it and disease processes. I have reference to the substance indole. This heterocyclic nitrogenous compound, a degradation product of the amino acid tryptophan, has as yet achieved no clinical significance beyond its traditional indictment of complicity in the production of so-called autointoxication or biliousness. This relation has the laboratory background of an increased excretion of indican in the urine, determined by crude qualitative tests.
The introduction of newer and more accurate analytic methods in biochemistry not alone supplies instrumentalities for the elucidation of physiologic and clinical problems but serves as inspiration for the testing of theories in physiology and pathogenesis. Furthermore,
SHARLIT H, Klumpp MM. URINARY EXCRETION OF INDOXYL (AS INDICAN) BY INFANTS WITH ECZEMA. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;41(1):113–118. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490070116012
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