Transplantation of Endocrine Tissue

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When an endocrine gland is destroyed by disease or operation, treatment, in most cases, comprises substitutional therapy administered orally or by injection and this generally must be continued for the remainder of the patient’s life. In these cases, substitution of a functional gland is the desideratum for which everyone hopes.

The successful transplantation of tissues, however, is not a simple matter and depends upon a large number of factors, some of which concern the graft itself and others the host. To any graft, for example, a host may set up a natural defense reaction to injury or the introduction of a foreign body. Other factors of great importance are related to proper vascularization of a graft and the age, time, and relation of the transplant to the host. In considering the relation of the transplant to the host, there arise such questions as the auto-, homo-, or hetero-plastic character of the tissues and the genetic compatibility between tissue and host. Loeb and Wright1 have stressed the importance of considering the genetic constitution of both donor and recipient.

Studies of sub-human animal grafting have almost invariably shown that hetero-transplantation, that is, transplantation between different species, is unsuccessful. Such studies lead one to regard with caution the announcement that hetero-glandular grafting in human beings has brought favorable returns (Voronoff2).

Homoplastic grafting in human subjects is a more logical procedure than hetero-grafting. The preliminary studies of Stone, Owing, and Gey and more recently those of Gey3 who used the tissue culture technic, offer. . .



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