A train of symptoms, coupled with retardation of tissue metabolism and with inactivity of the reproductive glands, not only accompanies states of experimentally induced hypophysial deficiency, but is equally characteristic of clinical states of hypopituitarism. The more notable of these symptoms are a tendency, in the chronic cases, toward an unusual deposition of fat, a lowering of body temperature, slowing of pulse and respiration, fall in blood pressure, and oftentimes a pronounced somnolence.
These symptoms bear a marked resemblance to the physiological phenomena accompanying the state of hibernation which have heretofore been unsatisfactorily ascribed solely to extracorporeal factors; namely, a seasonal deprivation of food and low temperature.
In a series of hibernating animals (woodchucks) it has been found that during the dormant period histological changes are apparent in many of the ductless glands. The most notable of these changes occur in the pituitary body, as previously observed by Gemelli. The gland not only diminishes in size, but the cells of the pars anterior in some animals at least completely lose their characteristic staining reactions to acid and basic dyes. At the end of the dormant period the gland swells, and as the cells enlarge they again acquire their differential affinity for acid, basic, and neutral stains, and at the same time karyokinetic figures may appear.