The suprarenal gland is a composite structure consisting of two entirely distinct systems of tissue that differ both phylogenetically and ontogenetically. In the selachians the medulla and cortex are separate glands, the latter appearing as the interrenal body. In the higher vertebrates the cortex develops from the celomic epithelium near the germinal ridge and comes to lie between the wolffian body and the aorta. The medulla is derived from the cells of the ganglionic germ layer of the sympathetic nervous system that wander into the folds of the cortical substance.
Morphologically and embryologically the cortex and medulla differ widely, and it was apparent to many investigators that they must differ as widely in function. By removing the interrenal body from members of the order Selachii (shark and skates), Biedl1 was the first to demonstrate that the cortical substance is essential to life. Wheeler and Vincent,2 Houssay and Lewis,
WENNER WF, CONE AJ. USE OF EXTRACT OF THE SUPRARENAL CORTEX IN PYOGENIC INFECTIONS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1934;20(2):178–187. doi:10.1001/archotol.1934.03600020042005
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: