Thyroidectomy hastens, while gonadectomy delays, but does not permanently prevent, involution of the thymus.
Suprarenalectomy alone not only delays involution of the thymus and lymphoid tissue but may cause their regeneration. Thyroidectomy prevents this reaction even after combined suprarenalectomy and gonadectomy.
Suprarenalectomy plus gonadectomy is a more powerful stimulus for thymus and lymphoid regeneration than either of these influences alone.
The combined effect of these two factors results in certain lymphoid and thymus hyperplasia in rabbits which persists until regeneration of accessory interrenal tissue corrects the physiological defect. The syndrome thus experimentally produced resembles status lymphaticus and is believed to depend mainly on a partial loss of certain functions of the interrenal and sex glands rather than of the chromaffin tissue.
The normal and abnormal lymphoid and thymic hyperplasias of infancy and childhood are believed to be manifestations of a functional underdevelopment of the interrenal and sex glands of varying intensity.
The so called lymphatic constitution which underlies or accompanies exophthalmic goiter, Addison's disease, and acromegaly also appears to be dependent on a partial suppression of certain functions of the interrenal and sex glands.