The ability of the pancreas, from various types of dogs, to correct diabetic hyperglycemia has been studied (Table XI). The pancreas from one animal was united by a vascular union with the neck blood vessels of another dog which had been pancreatectomized for 20 hours. The time necessary to reduce the blood sugar level to 120 mg. per cent was determined.
1. Pancreas from 6 hypophysectomized dogs produced a normal insulin secretion, showing that an anterior pituitary hormone is not necessary for its production or maintenance.
2. In 14 of 17 normal dogs given anterior pituitary extract for 3 or more consecutive days and presenting diabetes (fasting blood sugar 150 mg. per cent or more) the pancreas showed diminished insulin production.
3. In animals which remained diabetic after discontinuing the injections of hypophyseal extract, the pancreas islands were markedly pathologic and the insulin secretion was practically nil.
4. When hyperglycemia existed on the 2nd to 5th day but fell later, the insulin secretion of 5 dogs was normal in 2, supernormal in 1, and less than normal in 2. Histologic examination showed a restoration of beta cells.
5. In 14 dogs resistant to the diabetogenic action of anterior pituitary extract, as shown by little or no change in blood sugar, the pancreatic secretion of insulin was normal in 6 cases, supernormal in 3, and subnormal in 5 cases. Clear signs of hyperfunction of B cells were observed. In 6 resistant animals a high blood sugar (150 mg. per cent) appeared shortly before transplanting, but insulin secretion was normal in 4, supernormal in 1, and subnormal in 1 case.
6. With one injection of extract and 1 day of hyperglycemia the capacity of the pancreas to secrete insulin was not altered.
7. A high blood sugar level lasting 4 days does not alter the islets. The hypophyseal extract acts, therefore, by some other mechanism. In normal dogs, the continuous intravenous infusion of glucose for 4 days maintained the blood sugar at levels as high as those after pituitary extract. In these animals the B cells were hyperplastic and insulin secretion normal.
8. Anterior hypophyseal hyperglycemia is due at first to extrapancreatic factors which are the most important, and last only during the injections of extracts. Pancreatic factors appear afterwards and are responsible for permanent diabetes.
Hypophyseal extract produces histological changes in many tissues and damages the Langerhans islands. The coexistent high blood sugar probably exhausts the B cells and exaggerates their injury.
9. In all cases there is a relation between the cytology of the islet B cells and the insulin secreting capacity.