A Short History of Digestive Endocrinology

  • M. I. Grossman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 106)


In digestive endocrinology, as in other branches of science, most of the contributions have stemmed from a few epoch-making discoveries:
  1. 1

    PHYSIOLOGICAL ORIGINS. On January 16, 1902, Bayliss and Starling1 performed what they quite appropriately perceived to be “the crucial experiment” showing that putting acid into the jejunum still stimulated pancreatic secretion after all nervous connections between the two organs had been cut. Correctly deducing what the nature of the non-nervous mechanism must be, they made an extract of jejunal mucosa and showed that it stimulated pancreatic secretion when given intravenously whereas an extract of ileal mucosa did not. Bayliss and Starling recognized that they had not only discovered a new substance, secretin, but had also introduced a new concept, the regulation of bodily activities by blood borne chemical messengers or hormones. And thus was born the science of endocrinology in general as well as digestive endocrinology in particular. In due course, almost every digestive function was studied to determine whether it might have an endocrine component in its regulation.



Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Pancreatic Secretion Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide Gastrointestinal Hormone Ileal Mucosa 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. I. Grossman
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans AdministrationWadsworth Hospital CentreLos AngelesUSA

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