In 1921 a Scientist Fed Bovine Pituitary Glands to Tiger Salamanders in an Attempt to Create Giants

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EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCTION OF GIGANTISM BY FEEDING THE ANTERIOR LOBE OF THE HYPOPHYSIS
Eduard Uhlenhuth
DOI: 10.1085/jgp.3.3.347 | Published January 20, 1921
http://jgp.rupress.org/content/jgp/3/3/347.full.pdf

This paper turned up in Google when I was reading about the production of genomic giantism, not actual giantism! Decided I had to share.

The paper is really fun to read.

Excerpt:
EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCTION OF GIGANTISM BY
FEEDING THE ANTERIOR LOBE OF
THE HYPOPHYSIS.
BY EDUARD UHLENHUTH.
(From the Laboratories of The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.)
(Received for publication, November 29, 1920.)
Perhaps the most reliable information as to what may be the function of the hypophysis (or any other endocrine gland) may be expected to be obtained through experiments on the extirpation and
transplantation of the gland. The majority of these experiments have
shown in a rather conclusive way, that growth and development are
inhibited in the partial (mammalians) or totM (amphibians) absence
of the anterior lobe; an increase of the rate of growth ensues if anterior
lobes are grafted to the animals. 1 Particularly clear are the results
obtained in amphibians. As shown by Smith 2 and by Allen, 3 the extirpation of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis results in an inhibition
of growth and metamorphosis of the operated tadpoles. Recently
Allen 4 has shown that grafting the anterior lobe of adult frogs on
tadpoles causes an acceleration of growth and development in normal
larvae, and that it also restores'the power of growth and development
after they had been lost through extirpation of the anterior lobe.
These experiments seem to demonstrate that the anterior lobe of
the hypophysis is the organ which n~akes growth possible during the
normal growth period of life. They do not afford, however, any evidence as to whether the substance of the anterior lobe can cause growth
to continue beyond the period of life in which, under normal conditions, the ability of growth is lost and whether in this way the anterior
1 For a more complete discussion of the literature see Uhlenhuth, E., The r61e
of the internal secretions in growth and development, in a book on Internal
secretion and metabolism, edited by L. F. Barker and R. G. Hoskins (in press).
2 Smith, P. E., Science, 1916, xllx, 280; Anat. Rec., 1916-17, xi, 57.
3 Allen, B. M., Science, 1916, xliv, 755.
* Allen, B. M., Science, 1920, lii, 275.
347
The Journal of General Physiology
Downloaded from jgp.rupress.org on August 22, 2019
Published Online: 20 January, 1921 | Supp Info: http://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.3.3.347
348 EXPERIMENTAL GIGANTISM
lobe substance can increase the size of the individual over the normal
"maximum" size of the species. It is well known that growth of
every individual stops as soon as the specific size of the species is
reached. Many problems pertaining to this phenomenon would
appear in a new light if it were possible to cause gigantism by a particular substance.
Clinical observations point to the conclusion that at least one form
of gigantism is caused by an excessive production of anterior lobe
substance; nevertheless, attempts to produce experimental gigantism
have so far been unsuccessful. The only way to attack this problem
seems to be the feeding of the anterior lobe substance by mouth.
Such experiments have been attempted in large numbers but the results have for the most part been contradictory and difficult to interpret. The majority of investigators have merely desired to determine
whether or not feeding of anterior lobe modifies in a specific way the
rate of growth. It will be pointed out later that the greatest care
is necessary in the interpretation of results obtained from feeding
experiments. From the more recent feeding experiments, and especially those performed by Hoskins and Hoskins 5 and by Smith * on
tadpoles, by Robertson 7 and his coworkers on white mice, and by
Wulzen s, 9 on chickens, most students of endocrinology have concluded
that the anterior lobe substance retards growth in early periods of life,
while later on it may cause an acceleration of growth.
But in these experiments none of the animals fed with anterior lobe
developed into giants, except in two cases in which the slightly greater
size of the experimental animals may have been due to the effect of
the anterior lobe substance. Robertson and Ray 1° claim that they
obtained unusually large mice, when the feeding of anterior lobe
substance was started at an age of 4 weeks and discontinued at an age
5 Hoskins, E. R., and Hoskins, M. M., Endocrinology, 1920, iv, 1.
6 Smith, P. E., Univ. California Pub., Physiol., 1918, v, 11.
Robertson, T. B., J. Biol. Chem., 1916, xxiv, 385,397,409. Robertson, T. B.,
and Delprat, M., 1917, xxxi, 567. Robertson, T. B., and Ray, L. A., 1919, xxxvii,
393, 427, 455.
8 Wulzen, R., Am. J. Physiol., 1914, xxxiv, 127.
9 Wulzen, R., J. Biol. Chem., 1916, xxv, 625.
10 Robertson, T. B., and Ray, L. A., J. Biol. Chem., 1919, xxxvii, 455.
EDUAKD UHLENHUTH 349
of 12 weeks. In experiments in which the chicks were fed anterior lobe
from an early stage, Wulzen 9 succeeded in raising one anterior lobe-fed
**** which weighed 1,882 tim. as against the weight of only 1,597 gm.
of the control animal; no normal **** raised by Wulzen grew to the size
of the hypophysis-fed bird. Wulzen, however, raised only one ****
of this kind; moreover, no records are given in the paper as to the
normal maximum size of that race of chickens, and, therefore, it is
not certain that this **** could be actually considered a true giant.
From the experiments to be reported in this paper, it will become
evident that at least in one group of cold blooded animals, namely in
salamanders, feeding of anterior lobe leads to the attainment of a size
considerably in excess of not only the normal "average" size, but of
even the greatest known size of the two species (Ambystoma opacum
and Ambystoma tigrinum) employed in these experiments.
 
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