Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Studies on auto-digestion

VI. The digestion of living tissues in stomach juice (claude bernard’s experiment)


Legs of frogs anesthetised with ether are digested more rapidly by stomach juice than those of pithed frogs, or of frogs anesthetised with urethane.

Legs of frogs in whom the sciatic nerve is cut are digested more rapidly than innervated legs.

The larger the surface area of the frog’s legs immersed in gastric juice, the sooner will appear the first signs of digestion.

It is concluded that digestion in this experiment is not due merely to a local process, but possibly results from alkali depletion of the blood.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Bernard, C.: Lecons de Physiologie Expérimentale. Paris, Vol. II, p. 408, 1856.

  2. 2.

    Hunter, J.: On the Digestion of the Stomach after Death.Philosophical Transactions, London, 62:447, May 18, 1772.

  3. 3.

    Pavy, F. W.: On the Reason why the Stomach is not Digested by its own Secretion During Life.Medical Times and Gazette, 2:285, Sept. 12, 1863.

  4. 4.

    Dragstedt, L. R., and Vaughn, A. M.: Gastric Ulcer Studies. The Resistance of Various Tissues to Gastric Digestion.Arch. Surg., 8:791, 1924.

  5. 5.

    Licini, C.: Der Einfluss der Magensäfte auf lebende Organgewebe bei gesundem oder zerstörtem Peritonealüberzug.Beiträge zur Klin. Chir., 82:377, 1913.

  6. 6.

    Hotz, G.: Versuche über die Selbstverdauung des Darms im Magen.Mitt. aus den Grenzgeb. der Med. und Chir., 21:143, 1910.

  7. 7.

    Mann, F. C.: A Further Study of the Gastric Ulcers Following Adrenalectomy.Jour. of Exp. Med., 24:329, 1916.

  8. 8.

    Necheles, H., Ling, J., and Fernando, F.: Studies on Auto-Digestion. I. The Fate of Organs Implanted into the Duodenum.Amer. J. of Phys., 79:1, 1926.

  9. 9.

    Ewald, C. A.: Lectures on Diseases of the Digestive Organs. London, 1:106, 1891.

  10. 10.

    Weinland, E.: Uber Antifermente.Zeitschrift für Biologie, 44:1, 1903.

  11. 11.

    Necheles, H., and Fernando, F.: Studies on Auto-Digestion. II. The Role of Trypsin and “Antitrypsin.”Amer J. of Phys., 79:9, 1926.

  12. 12.

    Necheles, H.: Studies on Auto-Digestion. III. Antitrypsin and Insulin.Chinese J. of Phys., 2:229, 1928.

  13. 13.

    Necheles, H., and Mao-Keng Chu: Studies on Auto-Digestion. IV. Antitrypsin and Clotting Time.Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. and Med., 25:847, 1928.

  14. 14.

    Oppenheimer, Carl: Die Fermente und ihre Wirkungen. Leipzig, 1:82, 1925.

  15. 15.

    Matthews, W. B., and Dragstedt, L. R.: The Etiology of Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer.S. G. O., 55:265, Sept., 1932.

  16. 16.

    Dragstedt, L. R.: Some Physiologic Principles Involved in the Surgical Treatment of Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer.Ann. Surg., 102:563, Oct., 1935.

  17. 17.

    Hurst, A. F., and Stewart, M. J.: Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer. Oxford Univ. Press, 1929:44.

  18. 18.

    Aschner, P. W., and Karelitz, S.: Peptic Ulcer of Meckel’s Diverticulum and Ileum.Ann. Surg., 91:573, 1930.

  19. 19.

    Lindau, A., and Wulff, H.: The Peptic Genesis of Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer: Especially in the Light of Ulcers in Meckel’s Diverticulum and the Postoperative Ulcers in the Jejunum.S. G. O., 53:621, 1931.

  20. 20.

    Necheles, H., and Coyne, A.: Secretion of Mucus and Acid by the Stomach in Healthy Persons and in Persons with Peptic Ulcer.Arch. of Int. Med., 55:395, 1935.

  21. 21.

    Anderson, R. K., Fogelson, S. J., and Farmer, C. J.: Gastric Mucin Secretion in Gastro-duodenal Ulcerative Disease.Proc. Soc. for Exp. Biol. and Med., 31:520, 1934.

  22. 22.

    Mann, F. C., and Williamson, C. S.: The Experimental Production of Peptic Ulcer.Ann. Surg., 77:409, 1923.

  23. 23.

    Sollmann, T., and Hanzlik, P. J.: An Introduction to Experimental Pharmacology. Philadelphia and London, 1928:302.

  24. 24.

    Shock, N. W., and Hastings, A. B.: Studies of the Acid-Base Balance of the Blood. I. A Micro-Technique for the Determination of the Acid-Base Balance of the Blood.J. Biol. Chem., 104:565, 1934.

  25. 25.

    Schneider, D.: Uber die vasomotorische Benervung der Extremitäten.Arch. f. Exp. Path. und Pharm., 176:111, 1934.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to M. H. Maskin M.D..

Additional information

From the Gastro-Intestinal Laboratory, Department of Physiology, Nelson Morris Institute, Michael Reese Hospital, and the Department of Physiology of the University of Chicago.

Aided by the Louis L. Cohen Fund.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Maskin, M.H., Callahan, R. & Necheles, H. Studies on auto-digestion. American Journal of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition 3, 174–177 (1936).

Download citation


  • Gastric Juice
  • Sciatic Nerve
  • Duodenal Ulcer
  • Digestive Medium
  • Abdominal Vein