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Societies and Academies

Nature volume 82, pages 385390 (27 January 1910) | Download Citation



LONDON. Royal Society, January 20. —Sir Archibaid Geikie, K.C.B., president, in the chair.—Dr. C. Bolton: Further observations on the pathology of gastric ulcer (progress report). In four previous papers the production and properties of gastro-toxic serum, obtained by immunising the rabbit with guinea-pig's gastric cells, were described, and it was demonstrated that the ulcers produced by the serum healed within three or four weeks if the animal were in its normal condition and fed on a normal diet. Since chronic gastric ulcer in the human subject is a common malady, and gastric ulceration is initially acute, it was considered that some unknown condition or conditions must be present which delay the healing of these ulcers. It was, however, found on experiment that so long as the stomach emptied itself in the normal time it was impossible to delay the healing of gastric ulcer by increased or diminished acidity of the gastric contents or by feeding on infected food; the position of the ulcer in the stomach did not materially affect the result. The present communication deals with the effects of interference with the motor function of the stomach upon the healing of ulcer, the food and acidity of the stomach contents being normal. The gastric ulcers were produced in the cat by the local injection of gastro-toxic serum into the stomach wall, the serum being prepared by immunising the goat with the gastric cells of the cat. Motor insufficiency of the stomach, leading to retention of its contents, which is one of the commonest forms of indigestion of food in man, was produced by constricting the pylorus of the cat by means of rubber tubing, the ulcer then being formed on the anterior wall of the stomach. It was found that in these circumstances the healing of the ulcers was delayed for at least twice the normal time. The ulcers, however, eventually, healed up, but the regenerated mucous membrane was of a lower type than normal. Thus it may consist on the forty-first day of a single layer of cubical cells such as should be found on the tenth day of normal healing, or of glands formed entirely of duct epithelium. It was further found that the more sclerotic the base of the scar the more badly developed was the mucous membrane. In certain cases the normal healing of the ulcers was occasionally delayed by necrosis of the granulation tissue forming their bases, or by excessive formation of fibrous tissue, and in these cases the mucous membrane was of the lower type. It was therefore considered that the delay in healing in motor insufficiency was an exaggeration of the condition occasionally seen in the normal state. Both conditions are due to digestion or irritation of the base of the ulcer, leading to necrosis or increased formation of fibrous tissue, so that the regenerated mucous membrane is either unable to grow over it at all or only consists of a single layer of cells or of glands of a lower type than normal. When the base is excessively fibrous the glands have not a sufficiently vascular and cellular stroma in which to proliferate.—Dr. G. Dreyer and J. Sholto C. Douglas: The velocity of reaction in the “absorption” of specific agglutinins by bacteria, and in the “adsorption” of agglutinins, trypsin, and sulphuric acid by animal charcoal. Though a fair number of observations exist as to the influence of time on the so-called adsorption processes, e.g. the adsorption of a dye by a fibre (Bordet, Bayliss, &c.) proving that it takes a very considerable time before equilibrium is reached, the study of the time reaction in the taking up of agglutinins by bacteria has been confined to the observations of Eisenberg and Volk. These authors maintain that the velocity of reaction is extremely fast, and that equilibrium is reached in five minutes, even at a temperature of 0° C., and that no appreciable difference is to be found in the absorption velocity, whether the reaction takes place at 0° C. or 37° C. The present authors' results, which are contradictory to those of Eisenberg and Volk, may be summarised as follows:—(1) the establishment of equilibrium in the absorption of agglutinins by their specific bacteria is not attained, as stated by Eisenberg and Volk, in less than five minutes at 0° C., but takes a considerable time, since equilibrium is not reached at room temperature even in four hours; (2) the adsorption of agglutinin or trypsin by charcoal does not reach an equilibrium within four hours at room temperature, nor the adsorption of sulphuric acid by charcoal in twenty-four hours, or possibly even in forty-eight hours; (3) there is no justification for judging as to the of the interaction between an absorbing substance and a material absorbed from the rapidity or slowness with which equilibrium is attained, as has been done by Arrhenius.— Dr. G. Dreyer and J. Sholto C. Douglas: The absorption of agglutinin by bacteria, and the application of physico-chemical laws thereto. Eisenberg and Volk, in 1902, were the first to make more or less exact quantitative measurements of the absorption of agglutinins by bacteria. They showed that if agglutinating serum were treated in varying dilutions with a constant amount of homologous bacteria, the amount of agglutinin taken away was not constant, but that in a concentrated serum the absolute amount removed was greater than in a diluted serum, whilst, on the other hand, the relative amount taken away in a dilute serum was much the greater. By taking the experiments of Eisenberg and Volk, Arrhenius showed the existence of a relation between the quantity of absorbed agglutinin, C, and of the agglutinin left in the fluid, B, and expressed this relationship in the simple formula C =kBn. The result of the present experiments may be summarised as follows:—(1) when an agglutinating serum in different concentrations is treated with constant amounts of bacteria, the quantity absorbed, C, may not only increase to a limit value, but may, when this point is passed, even decrease to zero when the concentration of the serum is further increased, which is quite different to the statement of Eisenberg and Volk; (2) it is impossible, from the greater or smaller size of the exponent “n” in the formula C = kBn, to determine whether, in the case of agglutinin, we have to deal with an absorption or an adsorption process, as done by Arrhenius, as in both cases “n” may vary within nearly the same ranges; (3) the formula C = kBn, proposed by Arrhenius to express the absorption of agglutinin by bacteria, as being a special example of the Guldberg and Waage law of chemical mass action, does not hold good either in the case of the absorption of agglutinin by bacteria or of the neutralisation of agglutinin by homologous bacterial filtrate; (4) the combination of agglutinin and bacteria is therefore not such, a simple process as anticipated by Arrhenius, but is very possibly complex, and not improbably of the same as the interaction of bacterial toxins and anti-toxins.— V. H. veley and A. D. Waller: Observations on the rate of action of drugs upon muscle as a function of temperature. The authors tested the problem by observations on the rate of action on muscle of alcohol, chloroform, quinine, and aconitine, at temperatures between 7° and 25°. They used Esson's formula, modified for their purpose, for the calculation of results,

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