Dunn, Sheehan and McLetchie1 have recently recorded the discovery that certain chemical substances can cause a sharply selective necrosis of the islands of Langerhans in the pancreas, with characteristic physiologic effects and symptoms. The exocrine parenchyma of the pancreas is left untouched. This remarkable effect was observed first in the course of experiments on the production of certain renal lesions by styrylquinoline, a synthetic compound foreign to metabolism, and by alloxan, a component of the uric acid molecule.
The study of the effect of styryl-quinoline is limited to the observation that it can cause necrosis of the islands on intraperitoneal injection into rabbits. The action of alloxan on intravenous injection in rabbits has also been studied in detail. A single intravenous dose of 300 mg. per kilogram in an adult rabbit in average state of health and nutrition was found quite certainly to cause extensive necrosis of the islands